Intel flexes their muscles and shows their technological dominance in the low-cost chipset arena. Up to date there have been a several attempts to design a fully integrated chipset. Unfortunately, this type of integration in the past went hand-in-hand with lack-luster 3D performance. Most of the integrated chipset solutions shipping now provide acceptable performance for productivity software (e.g. word-processing, home finance, and Internet browsing). But when the user would slap their favorite 3D game title in to the CDROM drive instead of entering a cartoon like 3D world with full motion video it was more like a watching a slide-show. The reason for horrible 3D performance was due to the video implementation in the chipset. Most of these integrated chipset solutions use UMA (Unified Memory Architecture) where the integrated video allocates the required frame buffer from the system memory. By sharing the system memory the integrated video is limited to slow 66MHz-memory access. This slow memory access along with rudimentary 3D features integrated into most of these chipsets equated to HORRIBLE 3D gaming. Finally, Intel has provided the 810 Chipset solution to meet the low price demands of consumers without completely ignoring the performance requirements of 3D gaming.
No 'North' and 'South' Anymore, Only Hubs!
The Accelerated Hub Architecture
Over are the good old days of 'North' and 'South' bridge, Intel 'invented' the new "Accelerated Hub Architecture"!! Now I cannot really say that I ever really understood the point of 'North' and 'South' bridges on motherboards, since it would be news to me that you adjust your motherboard according to North and South like Muslims praying towards Mecca. However, the question may be raised why Intel is changing this sweet little naming of the two chips that make a chipset to the 'HUB-architecture'. The main deal about this new architecture is that the two main chips are not connected using the PCI-bus, but a new dedicated bus that offers double the bandwidth of PCI. Thus each device, including the PCI bus can directly communicate with the CPU, the memory controller and, in case of the Intel810, with the graphics controller as well, using an eight bit wide bus clocked at 133 MHz at '2x-mode', which provides a bandwidth of 266 MB/s. The Intel820, well known under the name 'Camino' right now, will also use this hub-architecture.
In the below chart you can see the different architectures: