Hardware Secrets
Home | Camera | Case | CE | Cooling | CPU | Input | Memory | Mobile | Motherboard | Networking | Power | Storage | Video | Other
Content
Articles
Editorial
First Look
Gabriel’s Blog
News
Reviews
Tutorials
Main Menu
About Us
Awarded Products
Datasheets
Dictionary
Download
Drivers
Facebook
Links
Manufacturer Finder
Newsletter
RSS Feed
Test Your Skills
Twitter
Newsletter
Subscribe today!
Recommended
HyperTransport┬┐ System Architecture
HyperTransport┬┐ System Architecture, by Don Anderson (Addison-Wesley Professional), starting at $108.22


Home » Motherboard
ECS SDGE Technology
Author: Gabriel Torres 42,316 views
Type: First Look Last Updated: September 3, 2005
Page: 2 of 3
How It Works

SDGE motherboards have two PCI Express x16 slots, but one of them is not operational. To enable the second slot, you need to install an add-on card (SDGE card). This add-on card has a chip (HyperTransport tunnel chip) that enables it.

The idea behind this strange concept is to provide a cheap motherboard that you can transform it, in the future, into a SLI or Crossfire motherboard.

Basically, SDGE connects the extra 16x PCI Express slot on the HyperTransport bus. Since the location of this bus on the system depends on the platform, the architecture of SDGE varies depending on the platform. Let’s take a look at how SDGE is built on both AMD and Intel platforms.

ECS gave us a Flash animation showing how this technology works. Click here to watch this animation.

AMD Platform

Since socket 754 and socket 939 processors use the HyperTransport bus to communicate with the north bridge, the SDGE card is installed between the CPU and the north bridge chip, as you can see in Figure 2.

ECS SDGE Technology
click to enlarge
Figure 2: How SDGE works on AMD platform.

The HyperTransport Tunnel chip located on the SDGE card connects the extra 16x PCI Express slot on the HyperTransport bus. The original 16x PCI Express slot continues to be connected to the north bridge chip. As we mentioned both slots work at 16x rate.

Intel Platform

Intel CPUs don’t use the HyperTransport bus. However, the link between the north bridge (or MCH, Memory Controller Hub, as Intel calls their north bridge chips) and the south bridge (or ICH, I/O Controller Hub, as Intel calls their south bridge chips) use the HyperTransport bus. So on Intel platform SDGE card is connected between the north bridge and the south bridge link, as you can see in Figure 3.

ECS SDGE Technology
click to enlarge
Figure 3: How SDGE works on Intel platform.

The funny thing is that, as far as we know, only NVIDIA and ULi chipsets use the HyperTransport bus to connect the north bridge to the south bridge. So, for Intel platform, this technology would be available only on motherboards using chipsets from NVIDIA or ULi - and not for all chipsets like ECS is claiming. Since this is only a concept, we still need to wait for the final product in order to see what they've done. Click here to learn more about this subject.

The HyperTransport Tunnel chip located on the SDGE card connects the extra 16x PCI Express slot on the HyperTransport bus present between the north bridge and the south bridge. The original 16x PCI Express slot continues to be connected to the north bridge chip. As we mentioned both slots work at 16x rate.

Print Version | Send to Friend | Bookmark Article « Previous |  Page 2 of 3  | Next »

Related Content
  • ECS KN1 SLI Extreme Motherboard Review
  • ECS KA3 MVP Extreme Motherboard Review
  • ECS C19-A SLI Motherboard Review
  • ASUS M3A32-MVP DeLuxe/WiFi-AP Motherboard
  • EVGA nForce 780i SLI Motherboard

  • RSSLatest Content
    ASRock Z97 Anniversary Motherboard
    December 16, 2014 - 4:27 AM
    Gigabyte H81M-S2PH Motherboard
    December 12, 2014 - 3:05 AM
    Aerocool Dead Silence Case Review
    December 2, 2014 - 3:00 AM
    NZXT S340 Case Review
    November 27, 2014 - 3:45 AM
    AMD A4-5000 CPU Review
    November 26, 2014 - 3:10 AM
    Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Tablet Review
    November 25, 2014 - 3:00 AM
    ASUS X99-PRO Motherboard
    November 5, 2014 - 3:00 AM
    ASRock QC5000-ITX Motherboard
    November 4, 2014 - 3:00 AM
    Gigabyte X99-UD3 Motherboard
    October 30, 2014 - 8:30 AM







    ę 2004-14, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Advertising | Legal Information | Privacy Policy
    All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST, GMT -08:00)