1- why do have a USB controller but a display adapter ?

2- I have heard the terms network adapter and network controller being used, is there a differance between those ?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (I am under the impression this is (mostly "personal") computer hardware terminology rather than computer science. Once upon a time I would have drawn the line between something doing nothing more complicated than cycling through states (raster graphics adapter cycling through display memory addresses) and more complicated things (disk drive controller converting a read address into step in/out pulses, handling sector replacement, error detection&recovery …) $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Feb 9 '20 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ thank you for the reply $\endgroup$
    – zojo
    Feb 22 '20 at 20:11

The distinction between the two[adapter and controller] is mainly one of packaging. Controllers are chip sets in the device itself or on the system’s main printed circuit board (often called the motherboard). An adapter is a card that plugs into a slot on the motherboard.Regardless, the purpose of each is to transfer information back and forth between the I/O bus and an I/O device.

Ref: Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 3rd Edition.


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