Peripheral Component Interconnect
<hardware> (PCI) A standard for connecting peripherals to a personal
computer, designed by Intel and released around Autumn 1993. PCI is supported by
most major manufacturers including Apple Computer. It is technically far
superior to VESA's local bus. It runs at 20 - 33 MHz and carries 32 bits at a
time over a 124-pin connector or 64 bits over a 188-pin connector. An address is
sent in one cycle followed by one word of data (or several in burst mode).
PCI is used in systems based on Pentium, Pentium Pro, AMD 5x86, AMD K5 and AMD
K6 processors, in some DEC Alpha and PowerPC systems, and probably Cyrix 586 and
Cyrix 686 systems. However, it is processor independent and so can work with
other processor architectures as well.
Technically, PCI is not a bus but a bridge or mezzanine. It includes buffers to
decouple the CPU from relatively slow peripherals and allow them to operate
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