Acronym for Extended Industry Standard Architecture. A bus standard for the connection of add-on cards to a PC motherboard, such as video cards, internal modems, sound cards, drive controllers, and cards that support other peripherals. EISA was introduced in 1988 by a consortium of nine computer industry companies. The companies—AST Research, Compaq, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, Wyse, and Zenith—were referred to collectively as “the Gang of Nine.” EISA maintains compatibility with the earlier Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) but provides for additional features introduced by IBM in its Micro Channel Architecture bus standard. EISA has a 32-bit data path, and it uses connectors that can accept ISA cards. However, EISA cards are compatible only with EISA systems. EISA can operate at much higher frequencies than the ISA bus and provides much faster data throughput than ISA. See also ISA, Micro Channel Architecture.