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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 Trinity KT systemboard utilizes VIA chipset technology and supports Athlon and Duron processors.
Trinity series systemboards feature premium performance, stability and reliability for single-processor applications" states Steve Hsia, Product Manager at Tyan.
Integrated these features down on the systemboard also frees up valuable PCI expansion slots, leaving them available for cutting- edge technologies such as Fibre Channel storage and Gigabit Ethernet.
In addition to dual-channel DMA/100 support, the Tiger 200 utilizes the Promise(R) FastTrak100(TM) chipset to provide RAID technology right on the systemboard.
The new Pentium II systemboard will be the highest performance, most feature rich systemboard available from Gateway to date.
Superior performance through exceptional memory architecture: The new systemboard supports SDRAM, offering a higher level of system performance than EDO RAM.
Integrated onto the systemboard is an enhanced bus-master dual channel PCI IDE interface supporting up to four high-performance PIO Mode 4 IDE mass storage peripherals.
The ALR EVOLUTION 6's systemboard design combined with the Pentium Pro chip's floating point advantages makes it the perfect system to meet the additional productivity demands of the Multimedia, CAD and Scientific environments," said Ortegon.
Incorporated into this systemboard is an enhanced Mode 4 dual channel IDE interface on the PCI local bus that supports up to four high-performance IDE mass storage peripherals.
Reply's custom systemboard solution combines real Pentium performance with integrated PCI 64-bit video, PCI Enhanced AT/IDE hard drive interface and true 64-bit memory addressing.
Company Description: Tyan Computer Corporation designs and manufactures advanced systemboards and server barebones solutions.
com), a designer, manufacturer and marketer of high-end system boards for emerging markets and one of Silicon Valley's 50 fastest-growing companies, has recognized Legacy Electronics and its 1-GB DIMM as one of their "recommended memory vendors," for its "Thunder" line of multi-processor systemboards.

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