VIA meets SCI
New Concepts for SCI Architecture


For some general information take a look at our Flyer!

What we are planning to do within this project is:

  • the development of a special PCI-SCI bridge offering both the benefits of Virtual Interface Architecture communication mechanisms and low-latency SCI shared memory communication.
  • the development of Linux drivers for the PCI-SCI bridge. Of course, this is a requirement for any further (high-level) work based on this card.
  • the adoption of a higher-level communication library (MPI). However, this work is related a bit outside of this project. For more informations refer to the CHEMPI project pages.

Major guidelines for Hard/Software development are:

  • that the result shall be optimized for a class of applications. In our case this class consists of message passing applications, especially for FEM simulations (Finite Element Method).
  • due to the restriction on one class of applications, hardware can be simplified on some points. I.e., it's not necessary to realize global cache coherency.
  • On the other hand, specialization for selected applications means also to support special operations directly by the hardware (if possible).

It's not the primary goal of the project to take the VIA standard in its current form and to implement it this way using SCI as underlying physical layer. For us it's much more important to see how we can improve it.
One way to do this is to extend the VIA functionality by the shared memory feature. For more information refer to related topics at the left bar (Background gives some general informations).

These pages are permanently under construction. So don't worry if there are some unfilled or missed sections.

For questions and comments send your emails to

Last Updated: March 5th 2000
By Digital Force / Mario Trams