Extended Industry Standard Architecture

From Academic Kids

The Extended Industry Standard Architecture (in practice almost always shortened to EISA and frequently pronounced "eee-suh") is a bus standard for IBM compatible computers. It was announced in late 1988 by PC clone vendors as a counter to IBM's use of its proprietary MicroChannel Architecture (MCA) in its PS/2 series.

EISA extends the ISA bus architecture to 32 bits and allows more than one CPU to share the bus. The bus mastering support is also enhanced to provide access to 4 GB of memory. Unlike MCA, EISA can accept older XT and ISA boards — the lines and slots for EISA are a superset of ISA.

Although somewhat inferior to MCA, EISA was much favoured by manufacturers due to the proprietary nature of MCA, and even IBM produced some machines supporting it. It was somewhat expensive to implement (though not as much as MCA), so it never became particularly popular in desktop PCs. However, it was reasonably successful in the server market, as it was better suited to bandwidth-intensive tasks (such as disk access and networking). Most EISA cards produced were either SCSI or network cards.

By the time there was a strong market need for a bus of these speeds and capabilities, the VESA Local Bus and later PCI filled this niche and EISA vanished into obscurity.

External links


This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.
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