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PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)

A previously popular expansion slot is Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI). PCI comes in four varieties: 32-bit 33MHz, 32-bit 66MHz, 64-bit 33MHz, and 64-bit 66MHz. Figure 3.28 shows the most common type of PCI expansion slot.

Figure 3.28

Figure 3.28 PCI expansion slot

An upgrade to the PCI bus called PCI-X can operate at 66, 133, 266, 533, and 1066MHz. PCI-X allows faster speeds and is backward compatible with the previous versions of the bus. PCI-X expansion slots were commonly found in network servers (powerful computers used in the corporate environment). A chip called the PCI bridge controls the PCI devices and PCI bus. With the PCI-X bus, a separate bridge controller chip is added. Today’s motherboards may have a limited number (or none) of PCI or PCI-X expansion slots because of a newer standard called PCI Express (PCIe), which is covered later in this chapter. Figure 3.29 shows how the PCI-X bus integrates into the system board. AGP and the north bridge are covered later in this chapter.

Figure 3.29

Figure 3.29 PCI-X block diagram

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