VIA for LINUX
System software for our new PCI-SCI-Bridge
VIA for LINUX is part of the OSCAR project. Its objective is to integrate our VI Architecture-based PCI-SCI-Bridge into a LINUX computing environment. The Virtual Interface Architecture, which was introduced in December 1997, defines a mechanism how network interfaces can be controlled from user level in a protected manner. Thus, VIA allows the operating system kernel to be removed from the time critical data transmission path, boosting communication performance. It is a generic architecture, i.e. it is independet of processor, physical network media, and operating system. While there are a number of implementations for FastEthernet, GigabitEthernet or proprietary networks around, we have chosen SCI (Scalable Coherent Interface) as subnet technology. SCI offers bandwidths up to 800 MB/s and latencies in the lower microsecond range. However, a unique feature of SCI is support of Distributed Shared Memory. One aim of our project is to combine the message passing mode specified by VIA with the low-latency SCI shared memory.
VIA for LINUX features: