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Dr. Bandwidth on Cached Access to Memory-mapped IO Regions

Over at John McCalpin’s Blog, “Dr. Bandwidth” has posted an in-depth look at memory-mapped IO (MMIO).

For tightly-coupled acceleration, it would be nice to have the option of having the processor directly read and write to memory locations on the IO device. The fundamental capability exists in all modern processors through the feature called “Memory-Mapped IO” (MMIO), but for historical reasons this provides the desired functionality without the desired performance. As discussed below, it is generally possible to set up an MMIO mapping that allows high-performance writes to IO space, but setting up mappings that allow high-performance reads from IO space is much more problematic.

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