PCI stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect. It's a recently-developed method of transferring data within your computer. Integrated into the main circuit board of your computer is a data highway, or "bus," which interconnects all the various components--the processor, the memory chips, the hard drive, the video circuit card, etc. The oldest bus design, which is still used in slower computers, dates back to the days of the original IBM PC--when the speed of its processor was only 4.77MHz, as opposed to the recently-released Pentium Pro processor which runs at up to 200MHz. So a much faster data highway method was needed to keep up with the speed increases in all computer components. The original design, called ISA for Industry Standard Architecture, has undergone various incremental upgrades, but the new PCI design, developed by Intel, is considered the modern standard.
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