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Motherboard parts – South Bridge

  • Last Updated : 17 Aug, 2021

Motherboard has many parts embedded in it and each part has its own functionality. 

In this article, a part named South bridge will be discussed. 

South Bridge : 
The motherboard has a logical chip set compromising of two chips namely North and South bridge. It is named South bridge as it sits in the South direction of Peripheral Component Interconnect or PCI bus of motherboard. 

Unlike North bridge, this chip is not directly connected to the CPU. North bridge acts as a medium of communication between South bridge and Central Processing Unit. South bridge controls all the Input and Output activities via CPU. Thereby it is also named as I/O Controller Hub as it acts as a hub for all the I/O processing and functionalities. 

History : 
The south bridge was replaced by PCH or Platform Controller Hub architecture. It was replaced by introducing Intel 5 chip-sets which had numerous features in the year 2008. 

Features : 
The South bridge supports various components of a motherboard such as: 


  1. Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) – 
    South bridge supports the old and new versions of PCI bus as well. 


  2. PATA and SATA – 
    PATA and SATA are known to store and transfer chunks of data via CPU. These buses are responsible for connecting hard drives and this is only possible via South bridge. 


  3. Clock – 
    It provides a time quantum for each process and checks whether every process gets the time limit for execution or not. 


  4. Power Management – 
    Controls the power and uses whenever necessary otherwise the power is saved for further uses. 

Advantages : 

  • Many of the input and output processing can be simultaneously controlled via South bridge making it a huge advantage. 
  • Without this bridge, the IO controlling would not be possible. 

Disadvantages : 
There is no major disadvantages regarding South bridge. 

With the rapid increase in development of technology, motherboards too are being replaced with many new components. According to some sources, North and South bridge is being replaced by a new component named IHA or Intel Hub Architecture which will be discussed in the further articles.

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