The word "ChipSet" is a trademark of Chips and Technologies Inc. (San Jose, California).
An integrated set of chips that performs all of the vital functions of a computer system, including the
functions that once required separate chips. The types of devices replaced by the chipset includes:
RTC (real-time clock)
PS/2 mouse controller
secondary cache controller
low-power CMOS SRAM
Not all of the above devices are necessary for a working PC.
Chipset has become a common name for integrated chip solutions. Therefore chipset can refer to specialised
graphic, network, mainboard and other chips. For instance a graphic chipset may contain the funtions of a
clock generator, DAC, memory controller and graphics engine.
This is an excerpt form the AMI BIOS guide:
A PC consists of different functional parts on its motherboard: ISA , EISA, VESA and PCI slots, memory, cache
memory, keyboard plug etc... The chipset enables a set of instructions so the CPU can work (communicate) with
other parts of the motherboard. Nowadays most of the discrete chips; PIC (Programmable Interrupt Controller), DMA
(Direct Memory Access), MMU (Memory Management Unit), cache, etc... are packed together on one, two or three chips;
In some well integrated motherboards, the only components present are the CPU, the two BIOS chips (BIOS and Keyboard
BIOS), one chipset IC, cache memory (DRAMs, Dynamic Random Access Memory), memory (SIMMs, Single Inline Memory
Module, most of the time) and a clock chip.
One of the first chipsets for PC was the legendary NEAT. All following chipsets use its 2 port - 8bit
way of programming.
22h/23h Chips&Technologies, OPTi, ETEQ, EliteGroup, Forex, SiS, Cyrix (486SLC)
22h/24h UMC, PC Chips
programmable Texas TACT
Northbridge / Southbridge