The original IBM computer was based around the 8088 microprocessor, although the 8088 alone was not enough to handle all the complex tasks required by the system. A number of other chips were developed to support the microprocessor unit (MPU), and many of these other chips survive, in one way or another, to this day. The chapters in this section will talk about some of the additional chips in the standard x86 chipset, including the DMA chip, the interrupt controller, and the Timer.
This section currently only contains pages about the programmable peripheral chips, although eventually it could also contain pages about the non-programmable components of the x86 architecture, such as the RAM, the Northbridge, etc.
Many of the components discussed in these chapters have been integrated onto larger die through the years. The DMA and PIC controllers, for instance, are both usually integrated into the Southbridge ASIC. If the PCI Express standard becomes widespread, many of these same functions could be integrated into the PCI Express controller, instead of into the traditional Northbridge/Southbridge chips.
The chips covered in this section are: