Zero-Copy Ethernet Kommunikation

Kurt Marlein

Diploma Thesis Summer 1998
Supervisors: Assistant, Prof. T. Stricker
Institute for Computer Systems, ETH Zürich


As an alternative to Ethernet and IBM Tokenring, newlz highlz improved technologies as ATM, Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet are becoming the new standard communication technologies. The problem that arises here is the fact that the hardware is able to run at the full communication speed but that together with the available software, only a fraction of it can be used. This is due to the driver software or the communication stack with the different protocols where several layers could require an additional copy in RAM. This means that when using Gigabit Ethernet or ATM OC12 we cannot use 100% of its capabilities due to the memory bottleneck. Therefore it is necessary to have a so-called zero-copy implementation of the communication protocol stack to be able to exploit the capabilities of the hardware. On top of this protocol, a first step will be taken in implementing a shared memory system in which memory areas can be copied accross the Ethernet.

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ETH Zürich: Department of Computer Science
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