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Backplane

Definition

A backplane is a group of electrical connectors in parallel with each other, so that each pin of each connector is linked to the same relative pin of all the other connectors, forming a computer bus. It is used as a backbone to connect several printed circuit boards together to make up a complete computer system. Backplanes commonly use a printed circuit board but wire-wrapped backplanes have also been utilized.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the word “Backplane” is /ˈbækˌpleɪn/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Backplane is a technology framework that provides robust infrastructure for cohesive web development. It enables developers to create versatile web applications that can interact seamlessly with each other.
  2. Backplane promotes interoperability by providing a common language for multiple web widgets to communicate. Its versatile nature means it can be utilized by several organizations to build web platforms with complex functionalities.
  3. By setting a standard for data transmission across different interfaces, Backplane helps reduce the complexity associated with building and maintaining modern web applications, thereby improving efficiency.

Importance

The technology term “Backplane” holds critical importance in the sphere of computing and networking. Backplane is a group of parallel electrical connectors that allow multiple circuit boards to communicate. Often visualized as the backbone of a computer system, it constitutes slots for accommodating processor boards, memory boards, interface boards among others, interconnecting them through a bus system. It’s crucial for enabling simultaneous interactions and high-speed data transfers among the linked components, upholding system reliability, flexibility and scalability. By eliminating the need for a bunch of messy wires and instead leveraging a singular compact system, a backplane also enhances organized connectivity and simplicity of design.

Explanation

The backplane is a circuit board that connects several connectors in parallel to each other, to facilitate routing of power or signalling between the modules plugged into them. Primarily, its main purpose is to enable communication and power supply to the components of an electronic system. Embedded in a chassis or cabinet, it assists with interconnecting various circuit boards, expansion cards, or hard drives, essentially serving as the backbone of a computer or other electronic system, communicating and transmitting data across these devices.In terms of usage, backplanes are largely utilized in high-reliability and mission-critical computer, telecommunications, and military systems where the ease of swapping a device or module plugged into the backplane significantly improves manageability and reduces system downtime. By having a network of circuits and slots in which additional cards or drives can be plugged, a backplane allows for versatile arrangements of complex electronic systems, supporting expansions and custom arrangements of components. Consequently, it enables system upgrades and scalability, thus catering to potentially evolving technological needs.

Examples

1. Server Racks: In huge data centers, where hundreds of servers need to be interconnected, backplanes are used in server racks. All the servers are plugged into the backplane which allows for data to be shared between them without the need for separate cables for every connection.2. Networking Hardware: Network switches and routers commonly use a backplane for internal data communication among various ports. It serves as a common circuit board where all the components (router ports and switching ports) are interconnected. 3. Computer Systems: In computers, the motherboard acts as a backplane. It connects various components such as CPU, RAM, hard drives and other peripheral devices together, enabling communication between them.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is a Backplane?**A: A backplane is a group of electrical connectors in parallel with each other, so that each pin of each connector is linked to the same relative pin of all the other connectors, forming a computer bus. It is used as a backbone to connect several printed circuit boards together to make up a complete computer system.**Q: What is the main function of a backplane?**A: The main function of a backplane is to connect several printed circuit boards together, allowing signals to be transferred between them.**Q: What is the difference between backplane and motherboard?**A: The difference between a backplane and a motherboard is that a backplane only holds components and slots necessary for connection points, with no on-board processing or other active components, unlike a motherboard which houses the CPU, BIOS, memory, and basic interfaces.**Q: Can backplanes be used in different types of computers?**A: Yes, backplanes can be used in different types of computers, from mainframes to personal computers. They are particularly common in some types of server architecture and industrial computer systems.**Q: Are there various types of backplanes?**A: Yes, there are different types of backplanes. Some backplanes are passive and only connect different components. Others are active and have integrated circuitry. **Q: Is it possible to upgrade a backplane?**A: Yes, it’s possible to upgrade a backplane, depending on the specific system design. However, it may be a complex task requiring specialist knowledge due to the potential need to work with specific hardware formats and interconnected devices.**Q: Are backplanes only used in computers?**A: No, backplanes are not exclusively used in computers; they are also commonly found in other electronic systems where several circuit boards need to be interconnected.**Q: Are all pins connected in a backplane?** A: In a backplane, all similar pins are connected to each other. This allows signals to be sent and received between different components or circuit boards attached to the backplane. **Q: What materials are used to make a Backplane?**A: Most Backplanes are designed using printed wiring boards, which are usually made of materials such as fiberglass or composite epoxy material. **Q: How does a backplane affect the performance of a computer?**A: The quality and design of a backplane can significantly impact the overall performance of a computer. A poorly designed backplane can cause signal integrity issues and limit the speed or reliability of the computer system.

Related Technology Terms

  • Bus Architecture
  • Bandwidth
  • Expansion Slot
  • System Board
  • Circuit Board

Sources for More Information

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