Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

March 1993


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-93-33.


This paper argues that workstation host interfaces and operating systems are a crucial element in achieving end-to-end Gbps bandwidths for applications in distributed environments. We describe several host interface architectures, discuss the interaction between the interface and host operating system, and report on an ATM host interface built at the University of Pennsylvania. Concurrently designing a host interface and software support allows careful balancing of hardware and software functions. Key ideas include use of buffer management techniques to reduce copying and scheduling data transfers using clocked interrupts. Clocked interrupts also aid with bandwidth allocation. Our interface can deliver a sustained 130 Mbps bandwidth to applications, roughly OC-3c link speed. Ninety-three percent of the host hardware subsystem throughput is delivered to the application with a small measured impact on other applications processing.



Date Posted: 17 July 2007