A common pathway along which data and control signals travel between different hardware devices within a computer system. (A) When bus architecture is used in a computer, the CPU, memory and peripheral equipment are interconnected through the bus. The bus is often divided into two channels, a control channel to select where data is located [address bus], and the other to transfer the data [data bus or I/O bus]. Common buses are: ISA [Industry Standard Architecture] the original IBM PC 16 bit AT bus; EISA [Extended Industry Standard Architecture] the IBM PC 32 bit XT bus [which provides for bus mastering]; MCA [MicroChannel Architecture] an IBM 32 bit bus; Multibus I & II [advanced, 16 & 32 bit respectively, bus architecture by Intel used in industrial, military and aerospace applications]; NuBus, a 32 bit bus architecture originally developed at MIT [A version is used in the Apple Macintosh computer]; STD bus, a bus architecture used in medical and industrial equipment due to its small size and rugged design [Originally 8 bits, with extensions to 16 and 32 bits]; TURBO Channel, a DEC 32 bit data bus with peak transfer rates of 100 MB/second; VMEbus [Versa Module Eurocard Bus], a 32 bit bus from Motorola, et.al., used in industrial, commercial and military applications worldwide [VME64 is an expanded version that provides 64 bit data transfer and addressing]. (B) When bus architecture is used in a network, all terminals and computers are connected to a common channel that is made of twisted wire pairs, coaxial cable, or optical fibers. Ethernet is a common LAN architecture using a bus topology.

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