12
Application 
Application 
OS Communication Interface 
VI Consumer 
OS Communication Interface 
VI Consumer 
Socket, MPI, Cluster, others 
Socket, MPI, Cluster, others 
VI User Agent 
VI User Agent 
Open/Connect 
Open/Connect 
Send/Receive 
Send/Receive 
Register Memory 
Register Memory 
RDMA Read/Write 
RDMA Read/Write 
User Mode 
User Mode 
VI 
VI 
VI 
VI 
VI 
VI 
CQ 
CQ 
Kernel Mode 
Kernel Mode 
VI Kernel Agent 
VI Kernel Agent 
VI Provider 
VI Provider 
Network Interface Controller 
Network Interface Controller 
Fig. 2.3. Virtual Interface Architecture
framework [30]. The VI enables direct message transfer to the NIC without requiring
to copy data to the kernel space or using the NIC driver for virtual to physical memory
translations. An application sends a request to the VI enabled API, also called as VIPL.
The VIPL formats the request, creates a VI queue or work queue pair, and submits
it directly to the NIC, which has VI enabled buffers to hold the data that is sent or
received. VIA uses a doorbell structure to initiate message transfer to/from a network.
Recently, a new VIA style communication mechanism, called InfiniBand Architec 
ture [45], has been proposed for faster access to the Network Interface. In the InfiniBand
specifications, a Host Channel Adapter (HCA) is used by the host processor to connect
to an IBA network, and has the required user level communication mechanism [45, 20].
Unlike the traditional NICs, the HCA is planned to reside in the memory controller to
avoid the PCI bus limitation [45]. Although the first generation of HCAs will probably












  

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