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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 GIGABYTE G1 Gaming motherboards deliver a range of exciting features such as the GIGABYTE s Amp-Up Audio and several other advanced technologies for serious gamers and audiophiles, including the world s first onboard OP-Amp socket.
This research report presents industry size and value forecast and recent quarter review of the worldwide motherboard industry.
Nasdaq:PTEC), a provider of device-enabling and management software products for connected digital devices, recently announced that it has signed a broad licensing agreement with VIA Technologies (VIA) to help VIA advance its goal of becoming the premier provider of PC motherboard solutions using VIA microprocessors and chipsets.
Adoption of the Serial ATA spec is expected to take a year or more with Serial ATA implemented on motherboards and storage devices by 2002.
With older PCs (Pentium 75 or lower), it may be wise to install a new motherboard as well.
com/research/ggf2hx/the_worldwide) has announced the addition of the "The Worldwide Motherboard Industry, 3Q 2012" report to their offering.
GIGABYTE is excited to launch 4 new series of motherboards for the Intel 9 series chipset, each offering a host of new and unique GIGABYTE features matched with GIGABYTE signature quality and durability, commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit.
Hardware and Electronic Equipment Industry: The Worldwide Motherboard Industry, 1Q 2010
The AMD Assured Program is designed to help commercial system builders identify AMD processor-based motherboards that provide stability and long-term availability, enable planned technology transitions, and offer standards-based manageability needed in commercial systems.
com/research/166d87/the_worldwide_moth) has announced the addition of the "The Worldwide Motherboard Industry, 2Q 2010" report to their offering.
PhoenixNet subscribers began signing up for the PhoenixNet service in February 2000, shortly after PhoenixNet-enabled motherboards began shipping.
This reduces the costs associated with product redesigns and re-certifications that are triggered by obsolescence, a common occurrence when using commercial-grade motherboards.