WWS Technology Wiki


By Sedona Stone

A motherboard is the heart and brain of the computer. It connects all the different parts of the computer and allows them all to communicate with one another. Everything that helps to run the computer or helps to enhances speed and performance is either a part of the motherboard or can be connected to the motherboard's ports and slots. The motherboard has to be able to relay information very quickly; a fast CPU is useless without a fast motherboard to share and communicate the information to other parts of the computer and the attached peripherals.

Computer motherboard annotated 600.jpg

A circuit connecting one part of the motherboard to another is called a bus. The amount of data that the bus can handle at once indicates the overall speed of the motherboard. The more data that can be moved at once, the faster the information can travel between the many different components of the computer. The front side bus is the most important to the speed of the computers processing because it is the bus that connects the CPU to the northbridge. For more information on the CPU, click here.

The History of the Motherboard

The first ancestor of the modern motherboard was called a breadboard.


The Planar Breadboard was created in 1981. It had chips wired together in order to connect the RAM, CPU, and other components. Three years later, the IBM Personal Computer AT became the very first component-based PC that would become standard for all motherboards. In in the year 1993, Intel developed the PPGA (Plastic Pin Grid Array) for setting chipsets into the motherboard and for assisting in integrated circuit packaging.

MicroATX Motherboard with AMD Athlon Processor 2 Digon3.jpg

Two years after the PPGA, Intel released the new Motherboard ATX Form Factor. This was a major developement in motherboards and it made many improvements, including: new dimentions, layout, improved space and interchange ability of the different parts. In 1998 Micro ATX Boards produced the first backward-compatible board. it was half the size of previous motherboards, but it had just as much speed and power as well as more integrated peripherals.