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Bus

A bus is a set of parallel wires (usually 32, 64, 128, or 256 wires, plus error and protocol-handling wires) embedded in a board forming the backbone of the computer. Other components, including CPU, disk, memory, and network cards, are connected to each other by their shared bus.

There may be more than one bus in a computer. PCs may have only one bus connecting everything. Server hardware, however, typically has at least two separate busses: a high-speed bus for connecting memory to the CPU, and a slower bus for connecting I/O to the CPU. System busses lag CPU speed by a large margin, meaning that CPUs spend a great many cycles simply sitting and waiting for the bus to catch up. On the other hand, busses are usually faster than network connections. As already mentioned, this has been changing recently. Fast Ethernet, for example, runs at 100 Mbps, which is more than ISA or EISA busses can handle. Gigabit Ethernet runs at 1,000 Mbps, which is even more of a challenge. At gigabit rates, the server bus and CPU general....


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