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MSC - PC and Internet glossary
Category: Technical and IT > PC and Internet
Date & country: 15/11/2007, UK
Words: 147

Operating System
Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. For large systems, the

The quality of being either odd or even. The fact that all numbers have a parity is commonly used in data communications to ensure the validity of data. This is called parity checking.

PC100 compliant SDRAM is the latest memory standard. This new memory is a new standard for SDRAM, capable of providing memory access time by following the new JEDEC standard of SDRAMs and is fully backward compatible with existing memory systems. This new specification is the latest module design to fully support the Intel 440BX AGPset and a new ge

PC133 SDRAM is SDRAM that is designed to work with a 133 MHz system bus speed.

The PC2001 System Design Guide provides open specifications from Microsoft and Intel for PCs running Windows ME or later.

A collection of PC system definitions and bus and device design requirements and recommendations for 1999-2000. The Design Guide is for engineers who build personal computers, expansion cards and peripheral devices that will be used with the Windows* NT* and Windows 98 operating systems. The goal of the design guide is to give clarity to the indust

PCI-X (Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended) is a new computer bus technology that increases the speed that data can move within a computer from 66 MHz to 133 MHz. PCI-X doubles the speed and amount of data exchanged between the computer processor and peripherals. With the current PCI design, one 64-bit bus runs at 66 MHz and additional buses

PCI-X 2.0
PCI-X 2.0 extends the bus frequency to 266 MHz and 533 MHz, doubling or quadrupling the throughput. This means the maximum amount of data exchanged between the processor and peripherals using PCI-X 2.0 is 2.08 GB and 4.16 GB per second. PCI-X 2.0 includes new features such as Error Correction Code to improve the robustness and performance of the in

Short for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, PCMCIA is an organization consisting of some 500 companies that has developed a standard for small, credit card-sized devices, called PC Cards. Originally designed for adding memory to portable computers, the PCMCIA standard has been expanded several times and is now suitable for ma

A peripheral (truncation of “peripheral device�) is any computer device that is not part of the essential computer (the processor, memory, and data paths) but is situated relatively close by. Some peripherals are mounted in the same case with the main part of the computer, as are the hard disk drive, CD-ROM drive, and NIC. Other peripherals are out

Plug`n`Play (PnP)
Plug and Play (PnP) is a capability developed by Microsoft for its Windows 95 and later operating systems. PnP gives users the ability to plug a device into a computer and have the computer recognize that the device is there. The user doesn't have to tell the computer. In many earlier computer systems, the user was required to explicitly tell the o

The process of adapting generic BIOS code to a specific motherboard. A “BIOS porting engineer� will take core & chipset code to “port� BIOS for a customer.

Power-On Self Test(POST) - Pre-boot BIOS services, such as memory testing and device configuration.

Power Management
Efficiently directing power to different components of a system. Power management is especially important for portable devices that rely on battery power. By reducing power to components that aren't being used, a good power management system can double or triple the lifetime of a battery.

A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. The term processor has generally replaced the term central processing unit (CPU). The processor in a personal computer or that is embedded in small devices is often called a microprocessor.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks(RAID) - A way of storing the same data in different places (thus, redundantly) on multiple hard disks. By placing data on multiple disks, I/O operations can overlap in a balanced way, improving performance. Since multiple disks increases the mean time between failure (MTBF), storing data redundantly also increas

RAM (random access memory) is the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached by the computer's processor. RAM is much faster to read from and write to than the other kinds of storage in a computer, the hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM. However, the dat

Rambus DRAM (RDRAM) is a proprietary technology proposed by Rambus, Inc. in partnership with Intel. RDRAM, it promises RAM speed up to 800 MHz. It has a smaller bus width (16 bits compared to 64 bits) than current SDRAM designs. In this approach, all signals to RAM are on the same line (rather than having separate CAS, RAS, address, and data lines)

A type of memory (DRAM) developed by Rambus, Inc. Whereas the fastest current memory technologies used by PCs (SDRAM) can deliver data at a maximum speed of about 100 MHz, RDRAM transfers data at up to 600 MHz. In 1997, Intel announced that it would license the Rambus technology for use on its future motherboards, thus making it the likely de facto

RAMBUS Inline Memory Module (RIMM), which is the standard packaging style for RAMBUS memory in PC systems.

Reduced Instruction Set Computer (Pronounced risk) A type of microprocessor that recognizes a relatively limited number of instructions. Until the mid-1980s, the tendency among computer manufacturers was to build increasingly complex CPUs that had ever-larger sets of instructions. At that time, however, a number of computer manufacturers decided to

RLM - RAID Level Migration
Allows a user to change RAID levels. Dynamic RLM allows the user to do this without restarting the system.

ROM is 'built-in' computer memory containing data that normally can only be read, not written to. ROM contains the programming that allows your computer to be 'booted up' or regenerated each time you turn it on. Unlike a computer's random access memory (RAM), the data in ROM is not lost when the computer power is turned off.

Real-time Clock(RTC) - The RTC is what keeps time when the system is off, so the computer has the correct time at power on. The RTC is typically part of CMOS, and is maintained by the same battery backup.

BIOS services offered after the operating system has booted.

S-ATA, or Serial ATA, is a disk-interface technology developed by a group of the industry's leading vendors to replace parallel ATA. Serial ATA is a drop-in solution in that it is compatible with today's software, which will run on the new architecture without modification. It will provides for systems which are easier to design, with cables that a

SIMM - Single In-Line Memory Module
A small circuit board that can hold a group of memory chips. Typically, SIMMs hold up to 8 (on Macintoshes) or 9 (on PCs) RAM chips. On PCs, the ninth chip is often used for parity error checking. Unlike memory chips, SIMMs are measured in bytes rather than bits. SIMMs are easier to install than individual memory chips. The bus from a SIMM to the a

In computers, a slot, or expansion slot, is an engineered technique for adding capability to a computer in the form of connection pinholes (typically, in the range of 16 to 64 closely-spaced holes) and a place to fit an expansion card containing the circuitry that provides some specialized capability, such as video acceleration, sound, or disk driv

System Management BIOS(SMBIOS) - Allows manufacturers to develop structures to access attributes that are known by the system BIOS, but have no standard interface to management software. SMBIOS defines this information in a series of data tables, which the BIOS writes into the runtime memory image.

System Management Bus (SMBUS) is a serial bus protocol, used to management devices on the motherboard. These devices include temperature sensors, fan speed controllers, and SPD devices used by memory modules.

System Management Interrupt (SMI) - Similar to NMI, except it is used specifically to handle power management and system management issues. The interrupt handler for a SMI runs from a protected memory space (SMRAM), so the OS has no access to this handler code. SMI is primarily used for ACPI and APM support.

Simple Mail Transport Protocol

Southbridge is an Intel chipset that manages the basic forms of input/output (I/O) such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), serial, audio, Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE), and Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) I/O in a computer. Southbridge is one of two chipsets that are collectively called Northbridge/Southbridge. The Southbridge consists of one

Serial Presence Detection (SPD) allows a small ROM chip on each memory module to report memory properties. This allows fast detection of installed memory by the system BIOS.

(Single SIMD Extensions) A group of 70 instructions added to the Pentium III chip that improves 3-D graphics performance. It includes floating point capability for 3-D geometry calculations. SSE is the second set of enhancements to the Intel CPU chips for multimedia operations (MMX was the first). The Pentium 4 added 144 more instructions known as

Striped Array
Distributes application data across two or more members disks in a regular pattern.

Short for disk striping; also known as RAID Level 0. A mapping technique in which fixed-size consecutive ranges of virtual disk data addresses are mapped to successive array members in a cyclical pattern.

Super I-O
A single device combining one or more of the following functions: Serial port, Parallel port, Infrared (IrDA), Floppy disk controller, PS/2 Keyboard controller, Real-time clock (RTC)

The Suite of Protocols that Includes TCP, IP, UDP and ICMP. The Basic Set of Communication Protocols Used on the Internet

UDMA (Ultra DMA or Ultra DMA-33)
A protocol for transferring data between a hard disk drive through the computer's data paths (or bus) to the computer's random access memory (RAM). The Ultra DMA/33 protocol transfers data in burst mode at a rate of 33.3 MBps (megabytes per second), twice as fast as the previous Direct Memory Access (DMA) interface. Ultra DMA was developed as a pro

ULTRASCSI (Ultra160 - Ultra320)
A method that enables very fast data transfer rate on the SCSI bus. The maximum UltraSCSI data transfer rates are 20 MBytes/second(160Mbits/second) and 40 MBytes/second(320Mbits/second) for Wide SCSI host adapters.

A 'plug-and-play' interface between a computer and add-on devices (such as audio players, joysticks, keyboards, telephones, scanners and printers). With USB, a new device can be added to your computer without having to add an adapter card or even having to turn the computer off. The USB peripheral bus standard was developed by Compaq, IBM, DEC, Int

Video Graphics Array (VGA) is the de facto standard for today`s graphics adapters. This defines the mechanism for displaying graphics on a computer monitor, and the basic resolution & color combinations. Extensions to this specification include SVGA and XGA, which define higher resolutions and color capabilities.

WAN (Wide Area Network)
A geographically dispersed telecommunications network and the term distinguishes a broader telecommunication structure from a local area network (LAN). A wide area network may be privately owned or rented, but the term usually connotes the inclusion of public (shared user) networks. An intermediate form of network in terms of geography is a metropo

Wired for Management - Specification from Intel that allows the performance of certain computer configuration and maintenance functions over a network or dial-up connection. Most computers designed for use in business environments have this capability built-in. The specification is currently in version 2.0. Using WfM, the installed hardware and pro

Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)
Wi-Fi is the popular term for a high-frequency wireless local area network (WLAN). The Wi-Fi technology is rapidly gaining acceptance in many companies as an alternative to a wired LAN. It can also be installed for a home network. Wi-Fi is specified in the 802.11b specification from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and i

XOR - eXclusive OR
A Boolean operator that returns a value of TRUE only if just one of its operands is TRUE. In contrast, an inclusive OR operator returns a value of TRUE if either or both of its operands are TRUE.