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(computer science)
A common pathway over which information is transmitted between the hardware devices (the central processing unit, memory, and each of the peripheral control units) in a microcomputer.


(mobo) The main printed circuit board in an electronic device, particularly a computer, which may contain sockets that accept additional boards ("daughter-boards").

In a personal computer, the motherboard contains the bus, the microprocessor, and integrated circuits used for controlling any built-in peripherals such as the keyboard, text and graphics display, serial ports and parallel ports, joystick, and mouse interfaces.


Also called the "system board," "main board" "base board" or "logic board," it is the primary printed circuit board in a computer or other electronic device. In a modern desktop computer, the motherboard contains the CPU and memory sockets as well as the chipset, which houses the control circuits for all the peripheral devices. It also has a PCI-Express slot for a high-end graphics card and PCI slots for additional peripherals. Laptop motherboards have no expansion slots for more peripherals.

Want to Sound Like a Cool Geek?
Every now and then, say "mobo" instead of motherboard. See CPU, chipset, PCI Express, PCI and controller.

PC Motherboard
This earlier Baby AT style motherboard required plug-in expansion cards for almost all the peripheral devices. The ISA slots are long gone, and the AGP slot was replaced with PCI-Express.

Expansion Cards
On earlier PCs, expansion cards were required for almost all peripheral devices except keyboard and mouse. Today, enthusiasts may plug in a faster graphics card, but most peripheral control circuits are already on the motherboard.

The Mother of All Motherboards
This is the front and back of the prototype of the first IBM PC motherboard in 1981. The chips are wired together on a "breadboard." (Images courtesy of IBM.)

The Mother of All Motherboards
This is the front and back of the prototype of the first IBM PC motherboard in 1981. The chips are wired together on a "breadboard." (Images courtesy of IBM.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The mainboard at Euston provides our railway customers with vital information for their journey.
CodePlex hosts the Gadgeteer source and binary code, as well as documentation specifying the hardware interfaces between the mainboard and the components, Microsoft added.
For example, DrMOS on MSI P45 mainboard is only chipused on the power supply of CPU PWM.
Trident confirmed the PX Pico-ITX mainboard is designed to be powered by an energy efficient processor solution from VIA, such as the VIA C7, which is pin-for-pin compatible with the VIA Eden processor.
Fujitsu Siemens has been making environmentally-friendly, lead-free components and mainboards for a number of years.
Fujitsu has addressed that problem by integrating Virtu Green software features into the hardware of both the mainboards and GPUs of its CELSIUS W420 and W520 Workstation models to achieve a zero watt draw when idle.
The Company was listed in the Mainboard of Stock Exchange Hong Kong in May 1997
Graphics card, mainboard and mini-PC manufacturer ZOTAC International this week launched a pair of new ZBOX E-series gaming mini-PCs and the palm-size ZBOX nano AQ02 series.
Additional ports - up to four USB, two COM, one parallel and SPDIF - can be wired to the outside from connectors on the mainboard.
COMPUTEX, Taipei, June 5, 2009 - (ACN Newswire) - World-renowned mainboard and graphics card manufacturer, MSI, will be introducing various new products and technologies during Computex 2009.
Motherboard, VGA card and computer hardware solutions provider, GIGABYTE Technology, has introduced its new i-DNA series of motherboards with the launch of its GA-8N-SLI Royal mainboard.