You are on page 1of 51

Motherboard Study Notes

Difference between AT and ATX:

AT and ATX are different form factors for Computers. A form factor is
the physical layout of the motherboard and its associated case.
Changing the design of a motherboard usually means changing the
design of the case.

There are different variations on the AT design. There is the original


AT, and the Baby AT form factor. The Baby AT design is simply a
smaller version of the original AT design. It is therefore less
expensive to make. A Baby AT motherboard can usually fit inside
either a Baby AT case or a full AT case. However, an AT motherboard
is too big to fit in a Baby AT case and it therefore must fit into an AT
case only.

The ATX is a newer design for motherboards and cases. The ATX
design uses a different power supply connector and the ATX case
cools internal components much more efficiently than its
predecessor. In addition to ATX, there is also Mini ATX and Micro
ATX. These are smaller versions of the ATX motherboards and cases
which adhere to the ATX design specifications, but skimp on
expandability.

MotherBoard Architecture

1. Slot 1 Connector - this is where your Pentium II or Pentium III


processor fits in. If you are using a standard Pentium, AMD K5 or K6,
a WinChip or an IBM/Cyrix processor then you will be using a Socket
7 (sometimes called Super 7 for the newer chips) motherboard and
the connector will be as shown under the main diagram.

2.ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) Expansion Slots - used to


add expansion cards such as sound cards and internal modems.
This type of expansion slot has a 16-bit bandwidth with a frequency of
8MHz. They are the older interface and are now being phased out.

3.PCI (Peripheral Component Interface) Slots - these are a newer


type of expansion slot than the ISA ones and more components are
now making use of them instead of the older slots. They have a 16-
bit bandwidth and a frequency of 33MHz.

4. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) - these are the newest


standard in expansion slots, for use only with graphics boards. The
newer model has a 64-bit bandwidth and a frequency of 66MHz.

5. Memory Slots - the ones shown are DIMM (Dual Inline Memory
Module) slots. Used to add memory to your computer.

6. Jumpers - these are used to configure the options on your


motherboard, such as processor voltages etc. The jumper is placed
over two pins to cause an electrical connection. Your motherboard
manual should tell you the settings for each jumper.

7.Floppy disk and Primary/Secondary IDE channels - used to


interface you hard drives, CD-ROMS and floppy drives to your
motherboard. The smaller connector is for the floppy drive, and the
two larger ones are for IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) devices
such as hard drives and CD-ROM drives. Up to two devices can be
used from one channel, so on this motherboard you could have up to
two floppy drives with four IDE devices.

8. Front Panel Connectors - these connect to the lights on the front


of your system case to notify you of hard disk access, power etc. If
you have an ATX style case then a power connector also fits here.
The wires that should be connected to these come from the front of
the case.
9. Real-Time Clock battery - allows the computer to retain the time
when it is powered down. Also retains configuration data from when
you first set up your computer.

10. BIOS EEPROM (Basic Input-Output System Electrically


Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) - The BIOS
configures the system resources on your system, and performs the
self-check procedure each time you switch on your PC.

11. Ports - connects external peripherals to the system such as a


keyboard, mouse and printer. Most modern systems will have one
each of PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors, two serial ports, one
parallel port and two Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports.

12. Voltage Regulation - these components help to regulate the


power supply to prevent 'spikes' when the power is switched on.

13. Power Supply Connector - this is where the power arrives from
your case's PSU (Power Supply Unit). The one shown on this board
is an ATX style connector and supports extra features such as auto
shut-down and energy saving compatibility. The older AT style
connectors have only a single row of pins and don't support these
extra features.
CMOS Study Notes

CMOS:

CMOS stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor, a


small portion of battery powered memory on the motherboard that
contains system settings like types of drives, device types in the
system, which drive to start up from etc.

CMOS and BIOS are often interchanged although they are different
things. Think of the BIOS as the skeleton frame upon which the
CMOS settings hang.

All computer memory forgets everything it holds when power to it is


shut off. If the power was totally shut off to your CMOS, your
computer would forget its start up settings, and you’d have to re-
enter these settings every time you started your computer!
Fortunately this is not the case as your CMOS always receives
enough power to remember its settings, even when your computer is
off. How? It is powered by a small lithium battery on your
motherboard. Lithium batteries are designed to last years, and often
outlive the usefulness of the computer they reside in. If you keep a
computer long enough, you will have to replace the battery. This is
usually an easy task. Just lift the retaining clip, pop out the old
battery and put in a new one. Make sure your computer is off though,
and beware of static discharge! After you replace the battery, you
WILL HAVE TO re-enter all startup settings into CMOS setup.

It is a good idea to enter the CMOS setup and write down the
information it contains. Unless you are fairly knowledgeable in
computer support, have original manuals or like frustrating
experiences, it is a good idea to keep the CMOS information on
paper in case it gets erased.

HOW TO GET INTO THE CMOS?

Computers differ on how to enter setup. Normally when you start


your computer, it will say something like "Hit <DEL> to enter setup."
Take note of what key (or combinations of keys to hit. You can safely
look around the setup program. If you accidentally change
something, just exit without saving

What is CMOS Setup?

Various devices are attached to a computer. These devices have got


various parameters such as IRQ settings, DMA channel settings, etc.
Thus this information about the devices or peripherals attached to
the computer must be known at the time of startup. These
parameters are manually set if the devices are of older types that are
non-plug-n-play. But if these devices are plug-n-play then the
parameters are detected automatically. This information about the
devices is to be stored or else it has to be set every time the
machine is started. So this information is set and stored in the
CMOS setup.

The CMOS has got a jumper. This jumper is used only for clearing
the data stored in the CMOS.

Setting up CMOS setup.

The listing below is showing all the informations stored into the
BIOS;

 Time and Date


 Number of Floppy Disk Drives

 Floppy Disk Drives informations (size, number of track, sectors,


head, ect)

 Number of Hard Disk Drives

 Hard Disk Drives informations (size, number of track, sectors,


head, mode, ect)

 Number of CD-ROM Drives

 CD-ROM Drives informations (operating mode, ect)


 Boot sequence ( Enable the user to decide what disk will be
checked first when booting)

 Cache Memory informations (size, type, timing, ect)

 Main Memory Informations (size, type, timing, ect)

 ROM Shadowing informations (Enabling or disabling of Video


and System ROM shadow)

 Basic Video mode informations (EGA, VGA, ect)

 Setting of PCI and ISA slots

 AGP Port Settings (aperture size, ect)

 Viirus Protection Warning

 Setting of COM Ports (Enabling or disabling of Com port 2 for


instance)

 Password Protection (enable the user to set his password)

 Energy saving informations (snooze modes for the HDD and


monitor)

Depending on your BIOS type there could be many alot of other


information not listed above that can possibly be stored in the BIOS
memory. Note that some of the information in the above list may not
be a part of the BIOS installed on your computer.
What is Hyper-Threading Technology

According to Intel Hyper-Threading Technology can be defined as


“Hyper-Threading Technology (HT Technology) is a groundbreaking
technology that boosts computing performance to keep pace with
today's applications and operating systems. HT Technology enables a
single processor to function as two "virtual" processors by executing
two threads in parallel, allowing you and your software to multi-task
more effectively than ever before”.

Intel has introduced HyperThreading technology for pentum 4


processors.

Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology is available on notebook, desktop,


server, and workstation systems. Hyper-Threading Technology
requires a computer system with an Intel® Pentium® 4 processor
supporting Hyper-Threading Technology and an HT Technology
enabled chipset, BIOS and operating system. Performance will vary
depending on the specific hardware and software you use.

Here is a list of Intel pentium 4 processors that support


hyperthreading technology.

For Hyper-Threading technology to work, you should have the Intel


processor, Intel chipset (motherboard) BIOS configuration enabled,
and an OS that is optimized for the HT technology.

Hyper-Threading Supportable Intel Processors:

The following Intel processors support the HT technology.

 Intel® Pentium® 4 processor Extreme Edition


o 1066 MHz system bus: 3.46 GHz
o 800 MHz system bus: 3.40 GHz, 3.20 GHz

 Intel® Pentium® 4 processors


o 800 MHz system bus: 3.80 GHz, 3.60 GHz, 3.40E GHz, 3.40
GHz, 3.20E GHz, 3.20 GHz, 3E GHz, 3, 2.80E GHz, 2.80C
GHz, 2.60C GHz, 2.40C GHz
o 533 MHz system bus: 3.06 GHz

 Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 processors

o 533 MHz system bus: 3.33 GHz, 3.20 GHz, 3.06 GHz, 2.80
GHz, 2.66 GHz

 Intel® Xeon™ processor

o 800 MHz system bus: 3.60 GHz, 3.40 GHz, 3.20 GHz, 3.0 GHz,
2.80 GHz

Hyper-Threading Supportable Intel Chipsets:

The following Intel Chipsets support the Hyper-Threading technology.

 Desktop chipsets
o 1066 MHz system bus: Intel® 925XE Express chipset
o 800 MHz system bus: Intel® 925X Express, Intel® 915G
Express, Intel® 915GV Express, Intel® 915P Express,
Intel® 875P, Intel® 865PE, Intel® 865G, Intel® 865GV,
and Intel® 848P chipsets
o 533/400 MHz system bus: Intel® 910GL, Intel® 865P,
Intel® 850E, Intel® 845PE, Intel® 845GE, Intel® 845GV,
Intel® 845E and Intel® 845G chipsets

 Mobile chipsets(Intel® 852GME Chipset, Intel® 852PM


Chipset)
 Server chipsets (Intel® 7520 Chipset, Intel® 7320 Chipset)

Hyper-Threading Supportable BIOS:

Please check your motherboard manual to check whether your


system BIOS support Hyper-Threading technology or not.

Hyper-Threading Supportable Operating Systems:

The following Os supports the Hyper-Threading Technology.

 Microsoft* Windows* XP Professional Edition


 Microsoft* Windows* XP Home Edition
 Red Hat Linux* 9 (Professional and Personal versions)
 SuSE Linux* 8.2 (Professional and Personal versions)
 Red Flag Linux* Desktop 4.0
 COSIX* Linux* 4.0

Hyper-Threading Technology Test Utility

A testing utility is available at Intel site to test whether your system


support Hyper-Threading or not. The Hyper-Threading Technology
Test Utility is provided by Intel Corporation to test systems for
hardware and software elements necessary to meet the Hyper-
Threading Technology brand requirements for systems bearing the
Intel® Pentium® 4 processor logo with HT Technology symbol.
Difference Between Input and Output Devices of a Computer

Overview:

This study note differentiate between input and output devices of a


computer.

Input Devices:

Input is the first stage of computing, referring to any means that


moves data (information) from the outside world into the processor or
from one component of the computer to another.

 Keyboard

The primary input device for a computer, allowing users to type


information just as they once did on a typewriter.

 Mouse
Used with graphical interface environments to point to and select
objects on the system's monitor. Can be purchased in a variety of
sizes, shapes, and configurations.

 Scanner

Converts printed or photographic information to digital information


that can be used by the computer. Works similar to the scanning
process of a photocopy machine.
 Microphone

Works like the microphone on a tape recorder. Allows input of voice


or music to be converted to digital information and saved to a file.

 CD-ROM/DVD drive

Compact disc–read only memory: stores large amounts of data on a


CD that can be read by a computer.
Processing Devices:

The central processing unit (CPU) is the heart and brain of the
computer. This one component, or "chip," is responsible for all
primary number crunching and data management. It is truly the
centerpiece of any computer. It is so important that whole generations
of computer technology are based and measured on each "new and
improved" version of the CPU. When we refer to the CPU, we are
usually speaking of the processor. However, the CPU requires
several other components that support it with the management of
data to operate. These components, when working in harmony, make
up the primary elements of the PC we know today.

 Motherboard

The large circuit board found inside the computer. Without it, a
computer is just a metal box. The motherboard contains all the
remaining items in this table; for all practical purposes, it is the
computer.

 Chip set

A group of computer chips or integrated circuits (ICs) that, when


working together, manage and control the computer system. This set
includes the CPU and other chips that control the flow of data
throughout the system.

 Data bus

A group of parallel conductors (circuit traces) found on the


motherboard and used by the CPU to send and receive data from all
the devices in the computer.

 Address bus

A group of parallel conductors (circuit traces) found on the


motherboard and used by the CPU to "address" memory locations.
Determines which information is sent to, or received from, the data
bus.

 Expansion slots

Specialized sockets that allow additional devices called expansion


cards or, less commonly, circuit boards, to be attached to the
motherboard. Used to expand or customize a computer, they are
extensions of the computer's bus system.

 Clock

Establishes the maximum speed at which the processor can execute


commands. Not to be confused with the clock that keeps the date and
time.

 Battery

Protects unique information about the setup of the computer against


loss when electrical power fails or is turned off. Also maintains the
external date and time (not to be confused with the CPU's clock).

 Random Access Memory (RAM)

Stores temporary information (in the form of data bits) that the CPU
and software need to keep running.
Output Devices:

All the input and processing in the world won't do us any good unless
we can get the information back from the computer in a
comprehensible and usable form.

 Printer

Generates a "hard copy" of information. Includes dot matrix, ink jet,


and laser varieties.
 Monitor

The primary output device. Visually displays text and graphics.

 Plotter

Similar to a printer, but uses pens to draw an image. Most often used
with graphics or drawing programs for very large drawings.
 Speakers

Reproduce sound. Optional high-quality speakers can be added to


provide improved output from games and multimedia software.

Input and Output Devices:

Some devices handle both input and output functions. These devices
are called input/output (I/O) devices, a term you will encounter quite
often.
 Floppy disk drive

Mechanism for reading and writing to low-capacity, removable,


magnetic disks. Used to store and easily transport information.

 Hard disk drive

High-capacity internal (and sometimes external) magnetic disks for


storing data and program files. Also called fixed disks.
 Modem

Converts computer data to information that can be transmitted over


telephone wires and cable lines. Allows communication between
computers over long and short distances.

 Network card

An expansion card that allows several computers to connect to each


other and share information and programs. Also called network
interface card (NIC).
 CD recorder

Also called CD-R. You can copy data to a CD with this device, but
you can only write to a section of the disc once. Variations on this
type of device include compact disc–rewritable (CD-RW) drives.
These drives allow you to read, write, and overwrite a special CD-
ROM-type disc.
 Tape drive

Large-capacity, magnetic, data storage devices. Ideal for backup and


retrieval of large amounts of data. Works like a tape recorder and
saves information in a linear format.
Network Cable Types

Overview:

A network is defined as two or more computers linked together for the


purpose of communicating and sharing information and other
resources. Most networks are constructed around a cable connection
that links the computers. This connection permits the computers to
talk (and listen) through a wire.

Types of Networking Cables:

The three main types of networking cables are coaxial cable, twisted-
pair cable and fiber optic cable.

Coaxial Cable:

Coaxial cable is made of two conductors that share the same axis;
the center is a copper wire that is insulated by a plastic coating and
then wrapped with an outer conductor (usually a wire braid). This
outer conductor around the insulation serves as electrical shielding
for the signal being carried by the inner conductor. A tough insulating
plastic tube outside the outer conductor provides physical and
electrical protection. At one time, coaxial cable was the most widely
used network cabling. However, with improvements and the lower
cost of twisted-pair cables, it has lost its popularity.
There are two types of coaxial cable.

1. ThickNet
2. ThinNet

ThickNet:

ThickNet is about .38 inches in diameter. This makes it a better


conductor, and it can carry a signal about 1640 feet (500 meters)
before signal strength begins to suffer. The disadvantage of ThickNet
over ThinNet is that it is more difficult to work with. The ThickNet
version is also known as standard Ethernet cable.

ThinNet:

ThinNet is the easiest to use. It is about .25 inches in diameter,


making it flexible and easy to work with (it is similar to the material
commonly used for cable TV). ThinNet can carry a signal about 605
feet (185 meters) before signal strength begins to suffer.

Name Description Type SegmentSpeed


185 10
10Base2 ThinNet Coaxial
meters Mbps
500 10
10Base5 ThickNet Coaxial
meters Mbps
Coaxial cable can only be used with a BNC (bayonet-Neill-
Concelman) connector. The following image will show you a BNC
connector.

Twisted-Pair Cable:

Twisted-pair cable consists of two insulated strands of copper wire


twisted around each other to form a pair. One or more twisted pairs
are used in a twisted-pair cable. The purpose of twisting the wires is
to eliminate electrical interference from other wires and outside
sources such as motors. Twisting the wires cancels any electrical
noise from the adjacent pair. The more twists per linear foot, the
greater the effect.
There are two types of twisted pair cable.

1. Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)


2. Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP):

The only difference between STP and UTP is that STP has a foil or
wire braid wrapped around the individual wires of the pairs. The
shielding is designed to minimize EMI radiation and susceptibility to
crosstalk. The STP cable uses a woven-copper braided jacket, which
is a higher-quality, more protective jacket than UTP.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP):

As the name implies, "unshielded twisted pair" (UTP) cabling is


twisted pair cabling that contains no shielding. UTP cables can be
divided further into following categories:

Category
Traditional telephone cable. Carries voice but not data
1
Category Certified UTP for data transmission of up to 4 megabits per second
2 (Mbps). It has four twisted pairs
Category Certified UTP for data transmission of up to 10 Mbps. It has four twisted
3 pairs
Category Certified UTP for data transmission of up to 16 Mbps. It has four twisted
4 pairs
Category Certified for data transmission of up to 100 Mbps. It has four twisted pairs
5 of copper wire
Category
Offers transmission speeds up to 155 Mbps
6
Category Category 7 is a proposed standard that aims to support transmission at
7 frequencies up to 600 MHz

Twisted-pair cable has several advantages over other types of cable


(coaxial and fiberoptic): It is readily available, easy to install, and
inexpensive. Among its disadvantages are its sensitivity to
electromagnetic interference (EMI), its susceptibility to
eavesdropping, its lack of support for communication at distances of
greater than 100 feet, and its requirement of a hub (multiple network
connection point) if it is to be used with more than two computers.
Twisted pair cables use RJ45 connector.

Name Description Type Segment Speed


Common; being phased out .5 to 100
10BaseT UTP 10 Mbps
for 100BaseT meters
Twisted- .5 to 100
100BaseT Common 100 Mbps
pair meters
Fiberoptic Cable:

Fiberoptic cable is made of light-conducting glass or plastic fibers. It


can carry data signals in the form of modulated pulses of light. The
plastic-core cables are easier to install but do not carry signals as far
as glass-core cables. Multiple fiber cores can be bundled in the
center of the protective tubing.

When both material and installation costs are taken into account,
fiberoptic cable can prove to be no more expensive than twisted-pair
or coaxial cable. Fiber has some advantages over copper wire: It is
immune to EMI and detection outside the cable and provides a
reliable and secure transmission media. It also supports very high
bandwidths (the amount of information the cable can carry), so it can
handle thousands of times more data than twisted-pair or coaxial
cable.Cable lengths can run from .25 to 2.0 kilometers depending on
the fiberoptic cable and network. If you need to network multiple
buildings, this should be the cable of choice. Fiberoptic cable systems
require the use of fiber-compatible NICs.
Printers Study Note

What is printer?

In computers, a printer is a device that accepts text and graphic


output from a computer and transfers the information to paper,
usually to standard size sheets of paper. Printers are sometimes sold
with computers, but more frequently are purchased separately.
Printers vary in size, speed, sophistication, and cost. In general, more
expensive printers are used for higher-resolution color printing.

Personal computer printers can be distinguished as impact or non-


impact printers.

Early impact printers worked something like an automatic typewriter,


with a key striking an inked impression on paper for each printed
character.

The dot-matrix printer was a popular low-cost personal computer


printer. It's an impact printer that strikes the paper a line at a time.
The best-known non-impact printers are the inkjet printer, of which
several makes of low-cost color printers are an example, and the
laser printer.

The inkjet sprays ink from an ink cartridge at very close range to the
paper as it rolls by.

The laser printer uses a laser beam reflected from a mirror to attract
ink (called toner) to selected paper areas as a sheet rolls over a
drum.
InkJet

Laser Jet Dot Matrix

Printer Qualities:

The four printer qualities of most interest to most users are:

 Color: Color is important for users who need to print pages for
presentations or maps and other pages where color is part of
the information. Color printers can also be set to print only in
black-and-white. Color printers are more expensive to operate
since they use two ink cartridges (one color and one black ink)
that need to be replaced after a certain number of pages. Users
who don't have a specific need for color and who print a lot of
pages will find a black-and-white printer cheaper to operate.
 Resolution: Printer resolution (the sharpness of text and images
on paper) is usually measured in dots per inch (dpi). Most
inexpensive printers provide sufficient resolution for most
purposes at 600 dpi.
 Speed: If you do much printing, the speed of the printer
becomes important. Inexpensive printers print only about 3 to 6
sheets per minute. Color printing is slower. More expensive
printers are much faster.
 Memory: Most printers come with a small amount of memory
(for example, one megabyte) that can be expanded by the user.
Having more than the minimum amount of memory is helpful
and faster when printing out pages with large images or tables
with lines around them (which the printer treats as a large
image).

Printer I/O Interfaces:

The most common I/O interface for printers are described below.

parallel

In the context of the Internet and computing, parallel means more


than one event happening at a time. It is usually contrasted with
serial, meaning only one event happening at a time. In data
transmission, the techniques of time division and space division are
used, where time separates the transmission of individual bits of
information sent serially and space (in multiple lines or paths) can be
used to have multiple bits sent in parallel.

In the context of computer hardware and data transmission, serial


connection, operation, and media usually indicate a simpler, slower
operation (think of your serial mouse attachment). Parallel connection
and operation (think of multiple characters being sent to your printer)
indicates faster operation. This indication doesn't always hold since a
serial medium (for example, fiber optic cable) can be much faster
than a slower medium that carries multiple signals in parallel.

A conventional phone connection is generally thought of as a serial


line since its usual transmission protocol is serial.

Conventional computers and their programs operate in a serial


manner, with the computer reading a program and performing its
instructions one after the other. However, some of today's computers
have multiple processors that divide up the instructions and perform

them in parallel.

Parallel Interfaces

Universal Serial Bus

USB (Universal Serial Bus) is 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, Intel,
Microsoft, NEC, and Northern Telecom and the technology is
available without charge for all computer and device vendors.

USB supports a data speed of 12 megabits per second. This speed


will accommodate a wide range of devices, including MPEG video
devices, data gloves, and digitizers. It is anticipated that USB will
easily accommodate plug-in telephones that use ISDN and digital
PBX.

Since October, 1996, the Windows operating systems have been


equipped with USB drivers or special software designed to work with
specific I/O device types. USB is integrated into Windows 98 and
later versions. Today, most new computers and peripheral devices
are equipped with USB.

FireWire

FireWire is Apple Computer's version of a standard, IEEE 1394, High


Performance Serial Bus, for connecting devices to your personal
computer. FireWire provides a single plug-and-socket connection on
which up to 63 devices can be attached with data transfer speeds up
to 400 Mbps (megabits per second). The standard describes a serial
bus or pathway between one or more peripheral devices and your
computer's microprocessor. Many peripheral devices now come
equipped to meet IEEE 1394.

Infrared

Printers can also be attached with the help of infrared adapter. A


simple diagram of a printer with an infrared adapter is shown below.

Printer Languages:

Printer languages are commands from the computer to the printer to


tell the printer how to format the document being printed. These
commands manage font size, graphics, compression of data sent to
the printer, color, etc. The two most popular printer languages are
Postscript and Printer Control Language.

Postscript is a printer language that uses English phrases and


programmatic constructions to describe the appearance of a printed
page to the printer. This printer language was developed by Adobe in
1985. It introduced new features such as outline fonts and vector
graphics. Printers now come from the factory with or can be loaded
with Postscript support. Postscript is not restricted to printers. It can
be used with any device that creates an image using dots such as
screen displays, slide recorders, and image setters.

PCL (Printer Command Language) is an escape code language used


to send commands to the printer for printing documents. Escape code
language is so-called because the escape key begins the command
sequence followed by a series of code numbers. Hewlett Packard
originally devised PCL for dot matrix and inkjet printers. Since its
introduction, it has become an industry standard. Other
manufacturers who sell HP clones have copied it. Some of these
clones are very good, but there are small differences in the way they
print a page compared to real HP printers. In 1984, the original HP
Laserjet printer was introduced using PCL. PCL helped change the
appearance of low-cost printer documents from poor to exceptional
quality.

Fonts:

A font is a set of characters of a specific style and size within an


overall typeface design. Printers use resident fonts and soft fonts to
print documents. Resident fonts are built into the hardware of a
printer. They are also called internal fonts or built-in fonts. All printers
come with one or more resident fonts. Additional fonts can be added
by inserting a font cartridge into the printer or installing soft fonts to
the hard drive. Resident fonts cannot be erased unlike soft fonts. Soft
fonts are installed onto the hard drive and then sent to the computer's
memory when a document is printed that uses the particular soft font.
Soft fonts can be purchased in stores or downloaded from the
Internet.

There are two types of fonts used by the printer and screen display,
bitmap fonts and outline fonts. Bitmap fonts are digital
representations of fonts that are not scalable. This means they have
a set size or a limited set of sizes. For example, if a document using a
bitmap font sized to 24 point is sent to the printer and there is not a
bitmap font of that size, the computer will try to guess the right size.
This results in the text looking stretched-out or squashed. Jagged
edges are also a problem with bitmap fonts. Outline fonts are
mathematical descriptions of the font that are sent to the printer. The
printer then rasterizes or converts them to the dots that are printed on
the paper. Because they are mathematical, they are scalable. This
means the size of the font can be changed without losing the
sharpness or resolution of the printed text. TrueType and Type 1 fonts
are outline fonts. Outline fonts are used with Postscript and PCL
printer languages.

Troubleshooting general deskjet printing problems:

Cannot turn on printer

 Check that the power cord is connected.


 Try connecting the power cord to a different wall outlet.
 Remove and reinstall the panel on the back of the printer. Make
sure that the removable panel is tightly pushed into the slot and
that the Panel Knob is in the Lock position

Nothing prints

 Check the power. Make sure the power cord is firmly connected
to the printer and to a working outlet, and that the printer is
turned on. The Power light on the front panel of the printer
should be lit.
 Be patient. Complex documents containing many fonts,
graphics, and/or color photos take longer to begin printing. If
the printer's Power light is blinking, the printer is processing
information.
 Check the paper. Make sure the paper is loaded correctly and
that there is no paper jammed in the printer.
 Check the print cartridges. Make sure that both the black and
color print cartridges are properly installed and that the printer's
access cover is closed. The Cartridge light will flash if the print
cartridges are not installed correctly.
 Try printing a sample page. Turn the printer off, and then on.
Press and hold down the RESUME button. Release it when the
Resume light starts to blink. If the sample page prints, the
printer hardware is working properly.

A blank page is ejected

 Check that there is no tape covering the ink nozzles on the print
cartridges.
 Check that the media being used is wide enough. The media
width in the page settings and print settings must match.
 Check for an empty print cartridge. When trying to print black
text and a blank page is ejected from the printer, the black print
cartridge may be empty. Replace the black print cartridge.
When trying to print using color, and one or more colors do not
print properly (or at all), the color cartridge may need to be
replaced.
 Check the printer setup. Make sure the correct printer is
selected as the current or default printer.
 Check the parallel port on the computer. If a parallel cable is
being used, make sure the printer is connected directly to the
computer's parallel port. Do not share the port with other
devices such as a zip drive.

Placement of the text or graphics is wrong

 The paper size or orientation settings may be incorrect. Make


sure the paper size and page orientation selected in the
software program match the settings in the HP print settings
dialog box.
 The paper may not be loaded correctly. If everything on the
page is slanted or skewed, make sure the paper width and
length guides fit snugly against the left and bottom edges of the
paper stack. Also, there should be no more than 150 sheets of
paper loaded into the Main Paper Tray or 10 sheets of paper
loaded into the Alternative Top Media Feed.
 The margin settings may be wrong. If text or graphics are cut off
at the edges of the page, make sure the margin settings for the
document do not exceed the printable area of the printer.

Paper is jammed in the printer

NOTE: To clear jammed paper from the printer, open the Access
Cover and pull the paper towards you. If you cannot reach the
jammed paper, turn the Panel Knob on the back of the printer,
remove the panel, pull out the jammed paper, and then replace the
panel. If you still cannot reach the paper, raise the Output Tray and
remove the jammed paper from the Main Paper Tray.

To avoid paper jams, follow the suggestions below:

 Make sure nothing is blocking the paper path.


 Do not overload the Alternative Top Media Feed. The
Alternative Top Media Feed holds up to 10 sheets of plain paper
(or other print media that has the same thickness). The Main
Paper Tray holds up to 150 sheets of plain paper.
 Load paper properly.
 Do not use paper that is curled or crumpled.
 Always use paper that conforms with those listed in the Printer
Specifications section of the User's Guide.
Printing a sample page

Print a sample page without being connected to a computer. This


allows you to see that your printer is set up correctly.

1. Turn the printer off.

2. Disconnect the parallel or USB cable from the back of the


printer.

3. Turn the printer on.

4. Press and hold down the RESUME button on the printer.


Release the RESUME button when the Resume light starts to
blink. The printer should

Cleaning the print cartridges

Clean the print cartridges when lines or dots are missing from printed
text or graphics.
Memory Study Notes

RAM (Random Access Memory) [1970-Intel]

A group of Memory chips, typically of the dynamic RAM (DRAM) type,


which functions as the computer's primary workspace. The "random"
in RAM means the contents of each byte can be directly accessed
without regard to the bytes before or after it. Also true of other Types
of Memory chips, including ROMs (Read Only Memory) and
PROMs(Programable ROM). However, unlike ROMs (Read Only
Memory) and PROMs(Programable ROM), RAM chips require power
to maintain their content, which is why you must save your data onto
disk before you turn the computer off.

DRAM (Dynamic RAM) [1970-Intel] Burst Timing: 5-5-5-5

Dynamic random access Memory (DRAM) is the most common kind


of random access Memory (RAM) for personal computers and
workstations. Memory is the network of electrically-charged points in
which a computer stores quickly accessible data in the form of 0s and
1s. Random access means the PC processor can access any part of
the Memory or data storage space directly rather than having to
proceed sequentially from some starting place. DRAM is dynamic in
that, unlike static RAM (SRAM), it needs to have its storage cells
refreshed or given a new electronic charge every few milliseconds.
Static RAM does not need refreshing because it operates on the
principle of moving current which is switched in one of two directions
rather than a storage cell which holds a charge in place. Static RAM
is generally used for cache Memory, which can be accessed more
quickly than DRAM.

ROM (read-only Memory) [1971-Intel]


Semiconductor-based Memory which contains instructions or data
which can be read but not modified. (Generally, the term ROM often
means any read-only device, as in CD-ROM for Compact Disk, Read
Only Memory.) Once data has been written onto a ROM chip, it
cannot be removed and can only be read. Unlike main Memory
(RAM), ROM retains its contents even when the computer is turned
off. ROM is referred to as being nonvolatile, whereas RAM is volatile.
Most personal computers contain a small amount of ROM which
stores critical programs such as the program which boots the
computer. In addition, ROMs are used extensively in calculators and
peripheral devices such as laser printers, whose fonts are often
stored in ROMs.

Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory


(EEPROM)

Machines with flash BIOS capability use a special type of BIOS ROM
called an EEPROM; which stands for "Electrically Erasable
Programmable Read-Only Memory". As you can probably tell by the
name, is a ROM which can be erased and re-written using a special
program. Procedure is called flashing the BIOS and a BIOS that can
do this is called a flash BIOS. The advantages of this capability are
obvious; no need to open the case to pull the chip, and much lower
cost. EEPROM is similar to flash mem. (sometimes called flash
EEPROM). The principal difference is EEPROM requires data to be
written or erased one byte at a time whereas flash mem. allows data
to be written or erased in blocks. This makes flash mem. faster. Flash
mem. works much faster than traditional EEPROMs because it writes
data in chunks, usually 512 bytes in size, instead of a byte at a time.

SIMMs (Single In-line Memory Modules)

As the first mass-produced Memory packages, these were 30 pin


modules ~3.50" X 0.75", and were used primarily in 386, early 486,
and Apple® computers. Designed as Fast-Page Mode non-Parity (2
or 8 chips per SIMM), or Parity (3 or 9 chips per SIMM), these were in
1Mb, 4Mb and 16Mb denominations. Installation must be in either 1
or 2 "banks" of either 2 or 4 matching SIMMs.This design was soon
replaced by 72 pin modules ~4.25" X 1.0", used primarily in later 486,
586 (Pentium®), and later Apple® models. Designed as Fast-Page
Mode or EDO (explained later), these came as non-Parity or Parity
with capacities of 4Mb, 8Mb, 16Mb, 32Mb, 64Mb and 128Mb. Most
486 and several Apple® machines only needed one SIMM per
available socket, whereas Pentium® and PowerMacs® required
matching pairs. Most machines required specific sizes and upgrade
configurations.

DIMMs (Dual In-line Memory Modules)

As operating system Memory demands increased, larger Memory


modules were required; yet the motherboard space was even more at
a premium. To solve this problem the 168 pin DIMM module ~5.375"
X 1" was developed.These are installed singly in later Pentium®s,
Pentium® Pro's, and PowerMacs®, and are offered as non-Parity
Fast-Page, EDO, ECC, or SDRAM modes, 3.3v or 5v. buffered or
unbuffered, and 2-clock or 4-clock. Their capacities are 8Mb, 16Mb,
32Mb, 64Mb and 128Mb. Choosing the right module is very critical,
as most machines require specific Types, sizes and upgrade
configurations.The number of black components on a 184-pin DIMM
may vary, but they always have 92 pins on the front and 92 pins on
the back for a total of 184. 184-pin DIMMs are approximately 5.375"
long and 1.375" high, though the heights may vary. While 184-pin
DIMMs and 168-pin DIMMs are approximately the same size, 184-pin
DIMMs have only one notch within the row of pins.

SODIMM (Small Outline DIMM Modules)

Many brands of notebook computers use proprietary mem. modules,


but several manufacturers use RAM based on the small outline dual
in-line mem. module (SODIMM) configuration. SODIMM cards are
small, about 2 inches by 1 inch (5 centimeters by 2.5 centimeters),
and have 144 pins. Capacity ranges from 16MB to 256MB per
module. An interesting fact about the Apple iMac desktop computer is
it uses SODIMMs instead of the traditional DIMMs.

Memory Cards

This style of Memory is primarily used in notebooks, and comes in


two primary styles. "Credit cards" are proprietary designed modules
which are often installed under the notebook keyboard. Most
commonly, these are Non-Parity, however, choosing the right module
is very critical, as most machines require specific Types, sizes and
upgrade configurations. PCMCIA cards are a design standardized by
industry OEMs. These come in three different Types, but Type I are
used for Memory expansion.

PCMCIA

PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association)


is an international standards body and trade association with over
300 member companies which was founded in 1989 to establish
standards for Integrated Circuit cards and to promote
interchangeability among mobile computers where ruggedness, low
power, and small size were critical. As the needs of mobile computer
users has changed, so has the PC Card Standard. By 1991, PCMCIA
had defined an I/O interface for the same 68 pin connector initially
used by Memory cards. At the same time, the Socket Services
Specification was added and was soon followed by the Card Services
Specifcation as developers realized common software would be
needed to enhance compatibility.

Non-Parity vs. Parity

Parity

As data moves through your computer (e.g. from the CPU to the main
Memory), the possibility of errors can occur . . . particularly in older
386 & 486 machines. Parity error detection was developed to notify
the user of any data errors. By adding a single bit to each byte of
data, this bit is responsible for checking the integrity of the other 8
bits while the byte is moved or stored. Once a single-bit error is
detected, the user receives an error notification; however, parity
checking only notifies, and does not correct a failed data bit. If your
SIMM module has 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, or 36 chips then it is more than
likely Parity.

Logic Parity

Also known as Parity Generators, or Fake Parity, these modules were


produced by some manufacturers as a less expensive alternative to
True Parity. Fake parity modules "fool" your system into thinking
parity checking is being done. This is accomplished by sending the
parity signal the machine looks for, rather than using an actual parity
bit. In a module using Fake Parity, you will NOT be notified of a
Memory error, because it is really not being checked. The result of
these undetected errors can be corrupted files, wrong calculations,
and even corruption of your hard disk. If you need Parity modules be
cautious of suppliers with bargain prices; they may be substituting
useless Fake Parity.

Non-Parity

These modules are just like Parity modules without the extra chips.
There are no Parity chips in Apple® Computers, later 486, and most
Pentium® class systems. The reason for this is simply because
Memory errors are rare, and a single bit error will most likely be
harmless.If your SIMM module has 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 chips, then it is
more than likely Non-Parity. Always match the new Memory with what
is already in your system. To determine if your system requires parity,
count the number of small, black, IC chips on one of your modules.

ECC (Error Correction Code)

Error Correction Code modules are an advanced form of Parity


detection often used in servers and critical data applications. ECC
modules use multiple Parity bits per byte (usually 3) to detect double-
bit errors. They also will correct single-bit errors without creating an
error message. Some systems which support ECC can use a regular
Parity module by using the Parity bits to make up the ECC code.
However, a Parity system cannot use a true ECC module.

FPM (Fast Page Mode) 1987 50ns Burst Timing: 5-3-3-3

FPM:

Fast Page Mode has traditionally been the most common DRAM. A
"page" is the section of Memory available within a row address.
Accessing Memory is like looking up information in a book. You
choose the page, then FPM gets information from that page. FPM
DRAMs need only to specify the row address once for accesses
within the same page addresses. Successive accesses to the same
page of Memory only require a column address to be selected, which
saves time in accessing the Memory.
EDO (Extended Data Output) 1995 50ns Burst Timing: 5-2-2-2

Extended Data Output DRAM is an improvement over FPM design,


and used in Non-Parity configurations in Pentium® machines or
higher. If supported by your motherboard, EDO shortens the Read
cycle between the main Memory and the CPU, thereby dramatically
increasing throughput. EDO chips allow the CPU to access Memory
10 to 20 percent faster. EDO DRAMs hold the data valid even after
the signal which "strobes" the column address goes inactive. This
allows faster CPU's to manage time more efficiently; i.e., while the
EDO DRAM is retrieving an instruction for the microprocessor, the
CPU can perform other tasks without concern that the data will
become invalid. Do not use EDO in systems don't support it, or mix
EDO with FPM as serious problems will result.

PC66 SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) 1997 66 MHz Burst Timing:


5-1-1-1

SDRAM is the fastest DRAM technology available. It uses a clock to


synchronize the signal input and output. The clock coordinates with
the CPU clock so both are in synch. The CPU "knows" when
operations are to be completed and data will become available,
freeing the processor for other operations. The use of a clock allows
for extremely fast consecutive read and write capability over FPM and
EDO DRAMs.The clock is the main speed consideration with
SDRAMs; therefore, SDRAMs are measured in megahertz (e.g. 66
MHz or 100 MHz). SDRAM increases the speed and performance of
the system.

Burst EDO (BEDO) Burst Timing: 5-1-1-1

Burst Extended Data Out DRAM (Burst EDO, BEDO) A variant on


EDO DRAM in which read or write cycles are batched in bursts of
four. The bursts wrap around on a four byte boundary which means
only the two least significant bits of the CAS address get modified
internally to produce each address of the burst sequence.
Consequently, Burst EDO bus speeds will range from 40MHz to 66
MHz, well above the 33MHz bus speeds can be accomplished using
Fast Page Mode or EDO DRAM. Burst EDO was introduced
sometime before May 1995.
SRAM (Static RAM) Burst Timing: 3-1-1-1

SRAM (Static RAM) stores its data in capacitors don't require


constant recharging to retain their data; consequently, this type of
RAM is faster than DRAM which results in a higher cost. Speed is
approximately 8ns to 20ns - as opposed to 60ns to 80ns for DRAM.

L2 Cache

Level 2 or L2 cache, mem. is external to the microprocessor. In


general, L2 cache mem. (SRAM), also called the secondary cache,
resides on a separate chip from the microprocessor. Although, more
and more microprocessors are including L2 caches into their
architectures.

Tag RAM

The tag RAM used as part of the cache must normally be faster than
the actual cache data store. This is because the tag RAM must be
read first to check for a cache hit. We want to be able to check the
tag and still have enough time to read the cache within a single clock
cycle, if we have a hit. So for example, you may find that your
system's main cache chips are 15 ns, while the tag may be 12 ns.

Pipelined Burst Static RAM

Pipelined Burst Static RAM (PB SRAM) has an access time in the
range 4.5 to 8 nanoseconds (ns) and allows a transfer timing of 3-1-
1-1 for bus speeds up to 133 MHz. These numbers refer to the
number of clock cycles for each access of a burst mode mem. read.
For example, 3-1-1-1 refers to three clock cycles for the first word and
one cycle for each subsequent word.

PC100/PC133/PC150 SDRAM 1998-2000 100-150MHz Burst


Timing: 4-1-1-1

PC100/PC133/PC150 SDRAM is synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) that


states that it meets the PC100/PC133/PC150 specification from
Intel®. Intel® created the specification to enable RAM manufacturers
to make chips that would work with Intel®'s i440BX processor
chipset. The i440BX was designed to achieve a 100 MHz/133 MHz
system bus speed. Ideally, PC100/PC133/PC150 SDRAM would
work at the 100 MHz/133 MHz speed, using a 4-1-1-1 access cycle.
It's reported that PC100/PC133/PC150 SDRAM will improve
performance by 10-15% in an Intel® Socket 7 system (but not in a
Pentium® II because its L2 cache speed runs at only half of
processor speed).To develop this type of Memory, a set of
specifications has been developed by Intel® and was endorsed by
most of the Memory manufacturers. Intel® established a very precise
set of specifications and guide lines to ensure compatibility between
Memory modules of any brands. The Intel® PC100/PC133/PC150
compliance specifications are ensuring robust Memory operation from
suppliers that meet these specifications and this is a great benefit to
both the industry and the end users. In addition to Intel® providing
specs for PC100/PC133/PC150 devices and DIMMs, Intel® has
released module gerber (raw card) design files. Vendors using these
raw card design files will have much more consistency than those
using their own raw card design files

DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM) 2000 266 MHz

Many other alternate methods of Memory access are in development.


One of the most promising is Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM. Like
SDRAM before it, DDR SDRAM will interleave Memory access so
that several Memory accesses can be performed simultaneously.
DDR SDRAM executes twice for each tick of the Memory bus,
effectively doubling the system bus speed. Currently, DDR Memory is
only used in high-end graphics cards, but it will almost certainly make
its way down to the main Memory of the computer soon.Interleave:
The process of taking data bits (singularly or in bursts) alternately
from two or more mem. pages (on an SDRAM) or devices (on a mem.
card or subsystem).

ESDRAM (Enhanced Synchronous DRAM)

ESDRAM, made by Enhanced Memory Systems, includes a small


static RAM (SRAM) in the SDRAM chip. This means that many
accesses will be from the faster SRAM. In case the SRAM doesn't
have the data, there is a wide bus between the SRAM and the
SDRAM because they are on the same chip. ESDRAM is the
synchronous version of Enhanced Memory System's EDRAM
architecture. Both EDRAM and ESDRAM devices are in the category
of cached DRAM and are used mainly for L2 cache
Memory.ESDRAM is apparently competing with DDR SDRAM as a
faster SDRAM chip for Socket 7 processors.

RDRAM (Rambus® DRAM) 1999 800 MHz

System Memory bandwidth is more important now than ever before.


With the increase in processor performance, multimedia and 3D
graphics, high bandwidth Memory is essential to sustain system
performance. The transition to Rambus® DRAM (RDRAM®) - with a
Memory performance gain up to 300% over the current SDRAM
technology is nothing short of revolutionary!

nDRAM, 2000 by: Rambus® & Intel, Supports data transfer


speeds up to 1,600MHz! (More info when available)

SLDRAM (Synchronous Link DRAM) 1997 by: SyncLink


Consortium

(Synchronous Link DRAM) An enhanced version of the SDRAM


Memory technology that uses a multiplexed bus to transfer data to
and from the chips rather than fixed pin settings. SLDRAM is
expected to support extremely fast transfer rates from 1.6 GBps up
into the 3 GBps range. This is a protocol-based Memory technology
like Rambus® DRAM, but is not a proprietary technology.The "SL"
originally stood for SyncLink®, which was dropped because it was a
proprietary trade name of a company. In 1999, the SLDRAM
consortium turned into AMI2 (Advanced Memory International, Inc.)to
support the DDR SDRAM market.

2 clock or 4 clock

SDRAM comes in either 2 clock and 4 clock versions. The difference


between them is only on the PCB design of the modules. Both of
these designs can use the same SDRAM chips, but the control
signals and layouts of the module are different, and thus these two
modules are not compatible with each other. The 4 clock design is
more popular version, and has a faster response time than a 2 clock
module; each clock signal can control 4 DRAM chips. (4 lines control
up to 16 chips in groups of 4).
Timing Speed

The speed rating marked on each chip (10ns, 50ns, 60ns, 70ns, 80ns
or 100ns) signifies how long it takes for the read/write to occur. A chip
with a lower number is usually better because it is faster; however,
early systems often need slower speeds. If you are upgrading
Memory in a computer, always match the speed of modules within the
same bank.

Refresh Rate

Memory module is made up of electrical cells. The refresh process


recharges these cells, which are arranged on the chips in rows. The
refresh rate refers to the number of rows that must be refreshed. The
common refresh rates are 1K, 2K, 4K and 8K. Some specialty
designed DRAMs feature self refresh technology, which enables the
components to refresh on their own - independent from the CPU or
external consumption, and it is commonly used in notebook
computers and laptop computer.

Gold vs. Tin/Lead Contacts

For best contact reliability, you should match the contact material of
the SIMM sockets on your motherboard. Mixing metal Types may
lead to contact corrosion, especially in high humidity environs.
Visually inspect the sockets; if they are gold, buy SIMMs with gold
contacts. If they are tin, buy SIMMs with tin/lead contacts. However,
this is not always a critical issue, and either kind usually works. Most
Pentium® boards have tin contacts, and almost all SIMMs
manufactured today use a tin/lead alloy instead of gold.

Operating System Memory - Virtual Memory - Swap Files

Virtual mem. provides applications with more mem. space than


allocated in the computer. A technique which operating systems use
to load more data into mem. than it can hold. Part of the data is kept
on disk and is constantly swapped back and forth into system mem..
For instance, when your run a CD application.Whenever the
operating system needs a part of mem. that is currently not in
physical mem., a VIRTUAL MEMORY MANAGER picks a part of
physical mem. that hasn't been used recently, writes it to a SWAP
FILE on the hard disk and then reads the part of mem. that is needed
from the swap file and stores it into real mem. in place of the old
block. This is called SWAPPING. The blocks of mem. that are
swapped around are called PAGES.Virtual mem. allows for the
multitasking (opening more than one program) that we do. When the
amount of virtual mem. in use greatly exceeds the amount of real
mem., the operating system spends a lot of time swapping pages of
mem. around, which greatly hampers performance. This called
THRASHING and you can see it in your LED hard disk drive light.
The hard disk is thousands of times slower than the system mem., if
not more. A system that is thrashing can be perceived as either a very
slow system or one that has come to a halt. Hard disk access time is
measured in thousandths of a second; mem. access time is
measured in billionth of a second.

How do I know if there is enough mem.?

The amount of mem. you need is determined by several factors; the


software, operating system and the number of programs you want to
have open at the same time. When you determine mem. needs, you'll
also want to consider what your needs will be six months down the
road. If you think you may be upgrading your operating system or
adding more software, it's a good idea to factor that into the equation
now.
Differences Between a System Area Network and a Storage Area
Network

Overview:

Windows 2000 includes two technologies that use the same acronym,
System Area Network (SAN) and Storage Area Network (SAN). This
study note provides a description of these two technologies, including
their differences.

Storage Area Network:

A Storage Area Network connects multiple servers and storage


devices on a single network. This network typically uses Fibre
Channel connections and block protocols (SCSI); future
implementations may also use Ethernet or other interconnects. SANs
also allow sharing the storage infrastructure, without implying data
sharing. This allows higher utilization of storage devices and easier
reconfiguration than is possible with direct attached storage. Although
sharing of storage devices is possible, it is generally not advisable
unless the servers connected to the shared devices are running MS
Cluster Server.

Precautions must be taken to prevent unintentional access to the


storage devices. For switched fabrics, this would involve setting up
zones. In any case, devices may implement LUN masking capabilities
prevent data corruption caused by unintended access to the storage.

System Area Network:

System Area Networks, in conjunction with the Windows Sockets


Direct Path (WSD) for System Area Networks feature in Windows
2000 Datacenter, are based on a completely different concept than a
Storage Area Network. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server-based
servers are connected to each other by using a reliable, very-low
latency, high speed 1 Giga Bits Per Second (Gbps) + Fiber Channel
connection that uses special System Area Network adapters (32/64-
bit PCI network adapters). Any Winsock-based program that uses
standard Winsock API calls can use System Area Network technology
to communicate by using a direct Windows socket from one Windows
2000 Datacenter Server-based server to another.

This capability eliminates the overhead of TCP/IP and provides a


reliable, connection-oriented transfer between two endpoints. The
technology is based partly on the Virtual Interface Architecture. The
Virtual Interface Architecture also provides for additional features
such as Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). RDMA allows a
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server-based server to transfer data from
the local computer's physical RAM directly into physical RAM of a
remote Windows 2000 Datacenter Server-based server without
requiring intervention by the CPU of either computer.

The TCP-based communication that Winsock Direct provides is non-


routable. However, fiber channel switches can be used to connect
many servers together up to distances of a few kilometers. A typical
implementation might involve an eCommerce site where "front-end"
Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server-based servers that are
running Microsoft IIS 5.0 are clustered into a Web farm by using
Network Load Balancing (NLB) and are connected to backend
Microsoft SQL servers that are hosted on Windows 2000 Datacenter-
based servers running Microsoft Clustering Service. This "backend"'
connection is made by using a System Area Network switch. This
would provide very high-speed, low latency access to information that
is stored in single or multiple SQL databases.