Karbosguide.com - Module 2d.08

Intel i820 "Camino", continued


The contents:

  • The 82802 Firmware Hub and BIOS updates
  • The Memory Controller Hub (MCH)
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  • The 82802 Firmware Hub and BIOS updates

    The 82802 Firmware Hub (FWH) stores motherboard BIOS in a 4 Mbit EEPROM. In addition, the 82802 contains a hardware Random Number Generator (RNG), which (perhaps and in time) will enable better security, stronger encryption, and digital signing on the Internet.

    Intel has succeeded in setting up a fine system for BIOS updates, using the FWH. Traditionally BIOS was updated using a boot diskette, but since many modern PC systems do not have a floppy disk, it has become a problem to update BIOS on new machines.

    Intel choose to place their BIOS-Update-Patch on the Internet. You download the 1.2 MB file "Express BIOS Update" and execute it under Windows . After re-boot, your i820-based motherboard is updated with new BIOS. This is really smart!

    The new BIOS include a much-wanted feature: Rapid BIOS Boot (RBB). It speeds up the POST sequency radically, hence reducing the boot time with some 15 - 30 seconds. This is especially designed to work with Windows ME.

    However, the first versions of new BIOS was a failure - soundscards did not function after the update ... Intel really has had a hard time with this chip set.


    The Memory Controller Hub (MCH)

    Central in the chip set is the Memory Controller Hub. This device controls the data flow to and from RAM. The idea is to assign maybe two or four RAM channels for higher bandwidth.

    Here is my early guess on the design:

    The idea of using a Memory Translator Hub as you see above, was that it would enable Intel to produce boards using PC133 RAM as well as RDRAM. A sound idea, indeed. DDR was never planned, since Intel is not allowed using this type of RAM, according to their agreement with Rambus (covering the years 2000-2002).


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    Read about the Pentium in module 3c

    Read about the Pentium II's etc. in module 3e

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