This question is based on a previous question I asked (x86 based Retro/Nostalgia PC the size of a Raspberry Pi), and also I guess to some extent it fits in with this question regarding ISA bus on newer computers
I'm still on the hunt for hardware to create a compact x86 based computer, but based on dated technologies such as 486/586 and ISA expansion for use with legacy graphics and sound cards (SB16).
I have researched:
- SBC (Single Board Computer)
- Nano-ITX, Pico-ITX
- ISA/EISA Back Plane
Since these technologies are rather outdated, building a tiny equivalent would not be a realistic investment for any technology company nowadays (except for those in the market where legacy embedded systems are being used).
So one idea I have come up with to build a compact x86 based PC is to use a small ISA backplane (maybe just 2/3 ISA slots).
- Single Board Computer (Legacy, 486/586, RAM, I/O, maybe graphics)
- Graphics card (if the SBC does not have this on-board), or additional I/O (PS/2, RS-232)
- Original Sound Blaster 16
My first concern here is that I don't know how ISA backplanes work. I fully understand traditional PC architecture, where the motherboard controls I/O to the expansion slots, however in this configuration, since the motherboard is essentially a card on the backplane, I'm not sure if/how it would be able to communicate with other hardware (graphics card / sound card) which are on separate slots on the backplane.
If anyone is knowledgeable in this area, I basically want to know if the purpose of an ISA backplane is to allow communication with other devices when used in conjunction with a SBC.