A set of chips that provides the interfaces between all of the PC's subsystems. It provides the buses and electronics to allow the CPU, memory and input/output devices to interact. PC chipsets, which are housed on one to four chips, include built-in controllers for almost all common peripherals. The primary components on a PC motherboard are the PC chipset, CPU, memory, clock, buses and BIOS. See Intel chipsets
Common PC Chipset
The Northbridge/Southbridge chipset architecture has been widely used in both Intel and AMD PCs. The Northbridge part handles high-speed channels, while Southbridge manages lower-speed devices.
Intel's 850 Chipset
Intel introduced a different architecture starting with the 820 chipset, which divides control between a memory controller chip (MCH) and an I/O controller chip (ICH).