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Socket 7

Socket 7

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Socket 7 is a physical and electrical specification for an x86-style CPU
Central processing unit
The central processing unit is the portion of a computer system that carries out the instructions of a computer program, to perform the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. The CPU plays a role somewhat analogous to the brain in the computer. The term has been in...

 socket on a personal computer motherboard
Motherboard
In personal computers, a motherboard is the central printed circuit board in many modern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, providing connectors for other peripherals. The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, or, on Apple...

. The socket supersedes the earlier Socket 5
Socket 5
Socket 5 was created for the second generation of Intel P5 Pentium processors operating at speeds from 75 to 120 MHz as well as certain Pentium OverDrive and Pentium MMX processors with core voltage 3.3 V. Consisting of 320 pins, this was the first socket to use a staggered pin grid array, or...

, and accepts P5
P5 (microarchitecture)
The original Pentium microprocessor was introduced on March 22, 1993. Its microarchitecture, deemed P5, was Intel's fifth-generation and first superscalar x86 microarchitecture. As a direct extension of the 80486 architecture, it included dual integer pipelines, a faster FPU, wider data bus,...

  Pentium microprocessor
Microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...

s manufactured by Intel, as well as compatibles made by Cyrix
Cyrix
Cyrix Corporation was a microprocessor developer that was founded in 1988 in Richardson, Texas as a specialist supplier of high-performance math coprocessors for 286 and 386 microprocessors. The company was founded by former Texas Instruments staff members and had a long but troubled relationship...

/IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

, AMD, IDT
Integrated Device Technology
Integrated Device Technology, Inc. is a publicly traded corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, that designs, manufactures, and markets low-power, high-performance mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for the advanced communications, computing, and consumer industries. The company...

 and others.

Socket 7 was the only socket that supported a wide range of CPUs from different manufacturers and a wide range of speeds.

Differences between Socket 5 and Socket 7 are that Socket 7 has an extra pin and is designed to provide dual split rail voltage, as opposed to Socket 5's single voltage. (However, not all motherboard manufacturers supported the dual voltage on their boards initially.) Socket 7 is backwards compatible
Backward compatibility
In the context of telecommunications and computing, a device or technology is said to be backward or downward compatible if it can work with input generated by an older device...

; a Socket 5 CPU can be placed in a Socket 7 motherboard.

Processors that used Socket 7 are the AMD K5
AMD K5
The K5 was AMD's first x86 processor to be developed entirely in-house. Introduced in March 1996, its primary competition was Intel's Pentium microprocessor. The K5 was an ambitious design, closer to a Pentium Pro than a Pentium regarding technical solutions and internal architecture...

 and K6
AMD K6
The K6 microprocessor was launched by AMD in 1997. The main advantage of this particular microprocessor is that it was designed to fit into existing desktop designs for Pentium branded CPUs. It was marketed as a product which could perform as well as its Intel Pentium II equivalent but at a...

, the Cyrix 6x86
Cyrix 6x86
The Cyrix 6x86 is a sixth-generation, 32-bit 80x86-compatible microprocessor designed by Cyrix and manufactured by IBM and SGS-Thomson. It was originally released in 1996.-Architecture:...

 and 6x86MX, the IDT WinChip
WinChip
The WinChip series was a low-power Socket 7-based x86 processor designed by Centaur Technology and marketed by its parent company IDT.-Design:The design of the WinChip was quite different from other processors of the time...

, the Intel P5
P5 (microarchitecture)
The original Pentium microprocessor was introduced on March 22, 1993. Its microarchitecture, deemed P5, was Intel's fifth-generation and first superscalar x86 microarchitecture. As a direct extension of the 80486 architecture, it included dual integer pipelines, a faster FPU, wider data bus,...

  Pentium (2.5–3.5 V, 75–200 MHz), the Pentium MMX (166–233 MHz), and the Rise Technology
Rise Technology
Rise Technology, was a short lived microprocessor manufacturer that produced the Intel x86 MMX compatible mP6 processor.The Santa Clara, California based company was started by David Lin in 1993 with funding from 15 Taiwanese investors, including UMC, ACER and VIA Technologies...

 mP6
MP6
This article is about the mP6 microprocessor. The Rise mP6 was a superpipelined and superscalar microprocessor designed by Rise Technology to compete with the Intel Pentium line.-History:...

. Current AMD Geode LX and Geode GX still use Socket 7.

Socket 7 typically uses a 321-pin (arranged as 19 by 19 pins) SPGA ZIF socket or the very rare 296-pin (arranged as 37 by 37 pins) SPGA LIF
Low insertion force
thumb|300px|right|LIF-connector of a 1.8" [[hard disk drive]]Low-insertion-force sockets are integrated circuit sockets that are designed so the force required to insert or remove a package is low....

 socket.

An extension of Socket 7, Super Socket 7
Super Socket 7
The Super Socket 7, also referred to as Super 7, is an extension of the Socket 7 ZIF socket specification. It features a 100 MHz front-side bus, support for AGP, and a SPGA package. Super Socket was used by AMD K6-2 and K6-III processors, and some of the final Cyrix M-II processors...

, was developed by AMD for their K6-2
AMD K6-2
The K6-2 was an x86 microprocessor introduced by AMD on May 28, 1998, and available in speeds ranging from 266 to 550 MHz. An enhancement of the original K6, the K6-2 introduced AMD's 3D-Now! SIMD instruction set, featured a larger 64 KiB Level 1 cache , and an upgraded system-bus interface...

 and K6-III
AMD K6-III
The K6-III, code-named "Sharptooth", was an x86 microprocessor manufactured by AMD, released on 22 February 1999, with 400 and 450 MHz models. It was the last Socket 7 desktop processor. For an extremely short time after its release, the fastest available desktop processor from Intel was the...

 processors to operate at a higher clock rate and use AGP
Accelerated Graphics Port
The Accelerated Graphics Port is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a video card to a computer's motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. Since 2004 AGP has been progressively phased out in favor of PCI Express...

.