In simple words PCI is a computer bus which is used for the purpose of connecting hardware devices to the computer. PCI stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect. PCI is also considered an additional attachment to the PC.
History of PCI Cards
The progress on the PCI cards began in1990 in a private lab. This lab was owned by Intel and was attached to the architecture development department. PCI card was first installed in servers and they took the place of early buses like MCA and EISA. However PCI did not receive widespread recognition till 1994. It became popular with the advent of the Pentium personal computers. It became so popular that it also became the part of the 486 processors. Apple computer manufacturers also used PCI cards for their professional Macintosh. Overtime the development in the PCI cards continued. New and advanced models of PCI cards came to the surface such as PCI express. Hence PCI cards become an essential part of the motherboard.
Types of Computer Buses
Any desktop Pc has two main buses known as system bus and the one that communicates with the hardware. The system bus is able to connect CPU with the main memory. The one that communicates with the hardware is known as PCI bus. PCI is a slow bus. This bus is connected to the system with the help of the bus bridge. Bus Bridge is a kind of traffic police a sergeant which helps in assimilating the data from the different buses and delivers it to the system bus. PCI is able to connect as compared to the other busses like VL bus. One can have more than a single PCI on its motherboard. The PCI chip is able to regulate the working of the PCI indifferent of the working and the speed of the CPU. Typical PCI has a width of 32 bits and it has a speed of 33Mhz. the most recent improvement in the PCI cards known as PCI X has a data transfer rate of 1GB with a speed of 133 MHz. The PCI bus was satisfactory for several years, providing an adequate amount of bandwidth for all the peripherals the majority users might want to connect. In the middle of 1990s, graphics cards were becoming more powerful, resulting 3D games were asking for higher recital. The PCI was not able to handle the entire data stream passing between the graphics and main processor. Consequently, Intel discovered the AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port). AGP is a bus devoted totally to graphics cards. The bandwidth of the AGP bus is not shared with other apparatuses. Although PCI is persistently the bus of choice for most peripherals, AGP has essentially taken the particular task of graphics dispensation.
PCI Express Cards
Peripheral component interconnect card express or PCIe is an expansion to the PCI cards. PCIe 2.1 is the latest standard of PCI cards used in the personal computers. PCI express is equally beneficial for personal computers, commercial and industrial units. PCIe cards are based on the point to point serial links. PCIe is also used in Express card Laptop. PCIe devices remain in touch with the help of the logical interconnect. Interconnect is a point to point communiqué spot between different PCI ports. Therefore the PCI requests and interrupts can take place. In order to install the PCIe card it is important to have open ended sockets. PCIe mini cards are also on the move. The host devices are able to provide support to the PCI express and other USB 2.0 connections. Wireless LAN PCI cards are most recent addition to the PCI express cards.