Architecture

The architecture of the MacBook Pro is based on the Intel Penryn microprocessor and two integrated circuits (ICs): the North Bridge memory controller and the South Bridge I/O controller, connected to each other by a Direct Media Interface (DMI) bus. The North Bridge IC provides the bridging functionality among the processor, the memory system, the DMI bus, and the 16-lane PCI Express bus to the graphics controller. The South Bridge IC supports these components:

  • Ultra ATA/100 bus for the optical drive (running at UATA/66)
  • A 1.5 Gbps Serial ATA (SATA) bus for the hard disk drive
  • 1-lane PCI Express link for the AirPort Extreme module, 1 for Ethernet, and 1 for ExpressCard
  • SPI bus, direct memory access bus to the boot ROM
  • USB 2.0 controller, which in turn supports the Bluetooth module, IR receiver, built-in iSight camera, built-in trackpad and keyboard, ExpressCard 34 mm slot, and 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • Channel to the audio subsystem
  • 33MHz, 32-bit internal PCI bus to the FireWire 400 (1394a) and FireWire 800 (1394b)
  • Direct Media Interface (DMI) bus

Figure 1 provides a simplified block diagram of the North Bridge and South Bridge ICs and the buses that connect them together.

Figure 1 provides a simplified block diagram of the North Bridge and South Bridge ICs and the buses that connect them together.

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