Processor Direct Slot

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LC PDS Ethernet card. PDS connector is at bottom left of photo. The card was mounted parallel to the main logicboard, unlike most computer busses where cards are inserted at right angles to the motherboard.

Processor Direct Slot or PDS introduced by Apple Computer, in several of their Macintosh models, provided a limited measure of hardware expandibility, without going to the expense (in both desktop space and selling price) of providing full-fledged bus expansion slots.

Typically, a machine would feature multiple bus expansions slots, if any. However, there was never more than one PDS slot. Rather than providing a sophisticated communication protocol with arbitration between different bits of hardware that might be trying to use the communication channel at the same time, the PDS slot, for the most part, just gave direct access to signal pins on the CPU.

Thus, PDS slots tended to be CPU-specific, and therefore a card designed for the PDS slot in the Motorola 68030-based Macintosh SE/30, for example, would not work in the Motorola 68040-based Quadra 700.

The one notable exception to this was the PDS design for the original Motorola 68020-based Macintosh LC. This was Apple's first attempt at a "low-cost" Mac, and it was such a success that, when subsequent models replaced the CPU with a 68030, a 68040, and later a PowerPC processor, ways were found to keep the PDS slot compatible with the original LC, so that the same expansion cards would continue to work.

Similarities to AGP[edit]

The Accelerated Graphics Port or AGP, which was the most widespread standard for connecting graphics cards to PC motherboards from 1997 until 2005, may be considered to be somewhere in-between a PDS and a bus. Like a PDS, there is no bus arbitration, so it is only possible to have one AGP card per system; however, it works at a higher level than a PDS, in that it is CPU-agnostic, and AGP cards can be designed to work across Intel- or AMD-based PCs as well as Apple Macs and other computer platforms.

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