Finally, USB 2.0 support

It has been almost two years since Intel has released a new I/O Controller Hub (ICH, aka South Bridge) for their desktop chipsets. When the 815E was launched Intel introduced their ICH2 which offered Ultra ATA/100 support and four integrated USB 1.1 ports. Since then, every desktop chipset from Intel has used ICH2 including all of the Pentium 4 chipsets (850, 850E and 845). With the 845E/G/GL Intel is introducing their first ICH with integrated USB 2.0 support - ICH4 (ICH3 was only used for server chipsets, e.g. E7500).

ICH Size Comparison
ICH4 (left) vs ICH2 (right) - Pictures are to scale

The USB 2.0 controller integrated in ICH4 can support a total of six USB 2.0/1.1 ports; it's up to the motherboard manufacturers to take advantage of the support. The integrated controller increases the die size of the ICH considerably making it more expensive to implement and thus keeping it from immediately making its way into all Intel chipsets. The ICH is long overdue for a die shrink and when that happens you can expect it to make its way into more chipsets and costs to come down as well.

Index 845G Graphics

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