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PCI-ISA Bridges

These bridges support legacy ISA devices by translating PCI I/O and PCI Memory space accesses into ISA I/O and ISA Memory accesses. A lot of systems now sold contain several ISA bus slots and several PCI bus slots. Over time the need for this backwards compatibility will dwindle and PCI only systems will be sold. Where in the ISA address spaces (I/O and Memory) the ISA devices of the system have their registers was fixed in the dim mists of time by the early Intel 8080 based PCs. Even a $500 Alpha AXP based computer systems will have its ISA floppy controller at the same place in ISA I/O space as the first IBM PC. The PCI specification copes with this by reserving the lower regions of the PCI I/O and PCI Memory address spaces for use by the ISA peripherals in the system and using a single PCI-ISA bridge to translate any PCI memory accesses to those regions into ISA accesses.

David A. Rusling