The Virtual Interface Architecture

Front Cover
Intel Press, 2002 - Computers - 203 pages
This book explains how VI provides a new interface between applications and switched interconnect hardware. Just as Virtual Memory allowed personal computers to break through physical memory limitations, VI solves the long-standing problem of efficiently interfacing general-purpose computers to high-speed switched networks. This book shows how implementing VI can lower overhead by two orders of magnitude and reduce latency for I/O and communications traffic. The Virtual Interface Architecture provides guidance for both developers and users of large clustered systems: Software designers can discover ways to exploit the VI Architecture's capabilities and gain a competitive advantage offered by InfiniBand, which includes VI Architecture concepts. Software designers can learn to develop the necessary drivers, middleware, and applications for VI Architecture-based systems. Chief Technical Officers and system architects of corporate enterprises and Internet Service Providers can gain the background information to plan for deployment of VI Architecture in corporate systems.VI Architecture is related to InfiniBand Architecture, a specification for I/O fabric that includes electrical and mechanical configurations of the physical media, supported operations and semantics, and management interface. InfiniBand does not include an API but does include many concepts of the VI Architecture. The authors were members of the core architecture team that developed VI Architecture within Intel. Both are significant contributors to the VI Architecture, a published specification developed by Intel, Compaq, and Microsoft.

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Historical Background and Architectural
Principles of Operation
The VIA Specification

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