Intel plans technology to speed up network applications

Intel is working on technology called I/O Acceleration Technology in a bid to improve the way computers handle input and output...

Intel  is working on technology called I/O Acceleration Technology in a bid to improve the way computers handle input and output protocols. The company claims its approach could boost network data and server applications by up to 30%.

While server CPU performance and network bandwidth has improved over the years, the primary method for moving data has not changed. Pat Gelsinger, Intel senior vice president for the digital enterprise group, said, "The benefit of the technology to end users will be better performance, particularly on transaction applications, such as Web commerce or electronic banking, while businesses will benefit from reduced cost of ownership and improved ability to grow their systems."

In modern computers the processor in a server shoulders the total burden of processing, including constructing and deciphering protocol in order to send and receive items of data. Supporting I/O protocols can be processor-intensive which means the processor's operation is diverted and response time, reliability and the end-users' experience can suffer, Intel said.
Intel I/O Acceleration Technology aims to distribute the data-handling function  between the processor, the chipset, network controller and software.

This approach reduces the workload on the processor while accelerating the flow of data, Intel said. The processor's job is reduced by giving the chipset and network controller responsibility for moving data in and out of memory.

Intel said it will also optimise the TCP/IP protocol on Intel-based servers to cut the processor's workload in half.
According to Intel, its approach will achieve at least a 30% faster data exchange between the platform and applications, enabling the processor to spend more time on other important computing tasks.

Microsoft said it will support the new technology in forthcoming Windows server operating systems. Microsoft will provide native support for Intel I/OAT in future Windows Server releases. Those releases will also include technology that balances network TCP/IP traffic streams across multi-core CPUs, said Microsoft

"Our customers have been telling us that they want to have better application response time on the Windows server platform," said Jawad Khaki, Microsoft corporate vice president for networking and device technologies.

"Server application performance will be improved by enabling Windows to take advantage of the faster data movement Intel I/OAT provides. Also, by balancing network data streams across multiple CPU cores, scalability of the Windows server platform will be further enhanced,” said Khaki.

The first commercial appearance of the new I/O technology has so far not been released by Intel.


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