Communication and Networking Riser

Definition of Communication and Networking Riser

Communication and Networking Riser (CNR) is a hardware component developed by Intel in the early 2000s for the purpose of simplifying computer assembly and reducing manufacturing costs. It is a small, plugin card that provides communication and networking capabilities, such as audio, modem, and LAN connections, to a motherboard. CNR has since become obsolete, as newer technologies and onboard solutions have replaced it.


Here’s the phonetic breakdown of the keywords “Communication and Networking Riser”:- Communication: /kəˌmjuː.nɪˈkeɪ.ʃən/- And: /ænd/ or /ənd/- Networking: /ˈnetˌwərkɪŋ/- Riser: /ˈraɪ̯zər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Communication and Networking Riser (CNR) is an interface specifically designed to support modems, LAN, and other telecommunication devices, enabling them to be seamlessly integrated with the motherboard.
  2. CNR interface helps reduce the overall cost and simplifies installation of networking devices, resulting in an efficient and more affordable way to connect computers and devices in a network.
  3. Although CNR has become less popular in recent years due to advancements in integrated networking and peripherals on modern motherboards, it’s still regarded as a functional and reliable option for enhancing network capabilities in some systems.

Importance of Communication and Networking Riser

The technology term “Communication and Networking Riser” (CNR) is important as it was specifically designed to enhance the functionality, reliability, and affordability of communication and networking features in computer systems.

As a hardware component, CNR provided a standardized framework for integrating audio, modem, and network technologies into motherboards, allowing manufacturers to offer feature-rich, cost-effective solutions to consumers.

Development of CNR components streamlined product offerings, simplified motherboard designs, and reduced manufacturing costs, thus ultimately making advanced communication and networking capabilities more accessible to a wide range of users.

Although now mostly superseded by more modern technologies, the introduction of CNR played a vital role in revolutionizing the way computer systems communicated and connected to the internet, paving the way for today’s integrated hardware solutions.


Communication and Networking Riser (CNR) is an interface technology specifically designed to enhance the connectivity capabilities of a computer system, providing diverse communication and networking options. Primarily created for use in desktop computers, the CNR offered a cost-effective, scalable solution to support a wide range of peripherals and devices, including networking, audio, and modem functionalities.

By consolidating the communication and networking hardware components on a single expansion riser card, it facilitated the efficient utilization and streamlined integration of these features in the computer’s design. As systems were able to reserve a dedicated slot position for a CNR card, manufacturers were able to reduce overall costs, simplify system designs, and reduce development time.

The purpose of the CNR was to bridge the gap between motherboards and peripheral devices, ensuring that users had access to essential communication and networking features through a single, centralized solution. It enabled manufacturers to develop and incorporate powerful, high-performance communication and networking components while maintaining affordable price points for consumer and enterprise markets.

The technology contributed to the growth of the personal computer market by providing end-users with greater access to high-speed internet connections, advanced audio functions, and convenient telephony features. As a result, the CNR played a crucial role in nurturing the expansion and adoption of communication and networking technologies in the early days of their implementation, further enabling the growth and evolution of the connected world we know today.

Examples of Communication and Networking Riser

Communication and Networking Riser (CNR) is a hardware standard for motherboards that was developed by Intel in the early 2000s. Its primary focus is to provide an affordable solution for integrating audio, modem, and network functionalities directly onto the motherboard. Though CNR has become outdated and was eventually replaced by newer and more advanced technologies, it did have a significant impact at the time of launch. Here are three real-world examples of CNR technology:

CNR Audio and Modem Cards: Intel produced various types of CNR cards for OEM manufacturers, which helped in delivering affordable motherboards. These cards could combine audio, modem, and network features by simply inserting them into the CNR slot. This approach significantly reduced the need for additional expansion cards and lowered overall costs.

Motherboards with CNR Support: Many motherboard manufacturers, such as ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI, produced motherboards that supported CNR technology. This allowed system integrators and end-users to benefit from the integrated features, such as onboard audio and network capabilities, providing a cost-effective and space-efficient solution for users building their computers.

Early Internet Appliances: CNR technology played a role in streamlining the production of early internet appliances, which were affordable, small computing devices primarily used for web browsing and email. By integrating most of the required components for connecting to the internet onto a single card, CNR technology helped manufacturers reduce production costs and made these devices more accessible to a broader audience.

FAQ – Communication and Networking Riser

What is the Communication and Networking Riser?

The Communication and Networking Riser (CNR) is a hardware device used in a computer. It is primarily designed to support various communications and audio equipment on the motherboard. CNR was developed by Intel in the early 2000s to help decrease the cost of manufacturing motherboards and to enable standardized expansion slots across different motherboard models.

What devices can be connected to a CNR?

Devices that can be connected to a CNR include modems, network cards, and audio subsystems. Typically, CNR is used to provide a simpler solution for adding these devices to a computer, while keeping the overall cost low for manufacturers and end-users.

How does CNR differ from other expansion slots like PCI or AGP?

CNR was specifically created to support communication and audio devices, whereas PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) and AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) were designed as general-purpose expansion slots. Unlike CNR, PCI and AGP support a wider variety of additional devices such as graphics cards, RAID controllers, and other peripherals.

What are the advantages of using CNR slots?

Some advantages of using CNR slots include cost-effectiveness, standardization across different motherboards, and simpler design for the motherboard layout. CNR slots help in minimizing the need for additional components and custom hardware, which ultimately reduces the cost for both manufacturers and end-users. Additionally, CNR allows users to easily upgrade their computer’s communication and networking components as needed.

Are CNR slots still common in modern computers?

Nowadays, CNR slots are not commonly found in modern computers. CNR has been largely replaced by newer technologies such as PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) and integrated solutions. While CNR was useful for its time, these newer technologies provide better performance, versatility, and compatibility with a wider range of devices.

Related Technology Terms

  • PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slot
  • Motherboard expansion
  • Integrated modem
  • Networking architecture
  • LAN (Local Area Network) connectivity

Sources for More Information


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