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ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) - Definition

ISA is an abbreviation for Industry Standard Architecture. It is an architecture design found in the original IBM PC for the slots on the motherboard that allowed additional hardware to be connected to the computer's motherboard. An 8-bit, 8.33 MHz expansion bus was designed by IBM for its AT computer and released to the public domain. An improved 16-bit bus was also released to the public domain. Various other designs such as IBM's MicroChannel and EISA bus tried to improve on the design without much popularity. ISA only supports 8-bit and 16-bit data paths, therefore 32-bit alternatives such as PCI and AGP have become mainstream. The ISA slots are well on the way out, replaced by the newer 32-bit slots.

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