Releasing the Power of I/O Bound Systems: I2O is the key!I2O (Intelligent I/O) is an architectural specification for connecting a host CPU to its local suite of I/O adapters. The essence of the specification is the proposed use of an intermediate processing layer to relieve the host Operating System of device management responsibilities. By keeping the host CPU focused on application processing, I2O anticipates significant enhancement in system performance. This paper explores the implications of I2O for system design. Specific constructs are illustrated in an examination of the Avalanche - an I2O capable add-in board for a PCI host. In this design, the I2O support features have been integrated into the VxxxPBC PCI bus interface from V3 Semiconductor.
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