Colloquium Speaker

Speaker: Lambert Schaelicke
Department of Computer Science
The University of Utah
Topic:Architectural Support for User-Level I/O
Date:Tuesday, March 6, 2001
Time:11:00 AM
Place:Gould-Simpson, Room 701

Refreshments will be served in the 7th-floor lobby of Gould-Simpson at 10:45 AM


I/O performance is becoming increasingly important for a variety of applications such as databases, email and web servers and multimedia programs. While the access latency of many I/O devices is determined by their physical characteristics, high performance can be achieved by overlapping I/O operations with other work. The possible performance improvement of this approach is limited by the overhead associated with each I/O operation.

In this talk I will introduce an I/O architecture that minimizes I/O overhead by offloading data transfers and most of the device control functionality from the host processor. The talk will describe the necessary hardware and software mechanisms, discuss hardware costs and present performance benefits. The lower overhead translates into improved throughput and allows applications to efficiently schedule I/O operations to take advantage of scalable storage organizations.