Data Direct I/O and Ethernet AVB

Registered by John Ronciak on 2012-05-01

Networking Topics:
1) Data Direct I/O
2) Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging

=== Data Direct I/O Significantly Boosts Networking Performance and Reduces Power ===
This presentation calls out the new Data Direct I/O (DDIO) platform technology that enables I/O data transfers that require far fewer trips to memory (nearly zero in the most optimal scenarios). In doing so, DDIO significantly boosts performance (higher throughput, lower CPU usage, and lower latency), and lowers power consumption. The updated architecture of the Intel Xeon processor to remove the inefficiencies of the classic model by enabling direct communication between Ethernet controllers and adapters and host processor cache. Eliminating the frequent visits to main memory present in the classic model reduces power consumption, provides greater I/O bandwidth scalability, and lowers latency. By avoiding the multiple reads from and writes to system memory, DDIO reduces latency, increases system I/O bandwidth, and reduces power consumption. Intel DDIO is enabled by default on all Intel Xeon processor E5 based servers and workstation platforms.

This presentation will explain the technology in detail as well as how it currently gets used. Performance numbers will be included from our Ethernet controllers which will clearly show the benefits of the technology. All performance gains will be examined and explained including the power reduction while increasing the bandwidth as well as reducing latency.

=== Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (AVB) - a Proof-of-Concept ===
Using our latest gigabit Ethernet controller we designed and implemented a Proof-of-Concept Audio Video Bridging device using the IEEE 802.1Qav standard. The project was implemented using a modified Linux igb driver with a user space component to pass the AVB frames to the controller while in addition maintaining normal network connection. This presentation will go through the details of the project, explain the challenges and have a demo of the working implementation at the end.

AVB is now being used to pass audio and video to many different types of A/V devices using Ethernet cables instead of having to run large heavy analog A/V cables to the devices. So not only is all the analog cabling gone but the performance is also far superior with the ease of controlling all the audio and video from a single work-station.

Topic Lead: John Ronciak
John is a SW Architect working for Intel in the LAN Access Division (LAD). John has 30 years experience writing devices drivers for various operating system and is currently one of the leads in the Open Source driver group responsible for six Linux kernel drivers.

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