When referring to a computer, the bus also known as the address bus, data bus, or local bus, is a data connection between two or more devices connected to the computer. For example, a bus enables a computer processor to communicate with the memory or a video card to with the memory. You can think of it as a public transportation or school bus.
Note: Bus is not an acronym for anything.
The bus contains multiple wires (signal lines) that contain addressing information that describes the memory location of where the data is being sent or where it is being retrieved. Each wire in the bus carries a single bit of information, which means the more wires a bus has the more information it can address. For example, a computer with a 32-bit address bus can address 4 GB of memory, and a computer with a 36-bit bus can address 64 GB of memory.
A bus is capable of being a parallel or serial bus and today all computers utilize two bus types, an internal bus or local bus and an external bus, also called the expansion bus. An internal bus enables communication between internal components such as a video card and memory. An external bus is capable of communicating with external components such as a USB or SCSI device.
Examples of computer buses
Most popular computer bus
Today, many of the buses listed above are no longer used or are not as common. Below is a listing of the most buses and how they are used with a computer.
- eSATA and SATA - Computer hard drives and disc drives.
- PCIe - Computer expansion cards and video cards.
- USB - Computer peripherals.
ADB, AGP, AMR, AT Bus, CNR, Back Side Bus, EISA, Front Side Bus, Hardware terms, HyperTransport, IDE, Input/output bus, ISA, Internal data bus, MCA, NuBus, Motherboard terms, Multiplier, PCI, PCI Express, PCMCIA, SBus, SCSI, SMBus, USB, Vitesse-Bus, VLB, XT