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Documentation / mic / mic_overview.txt




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Based on kernel version 4.1. Page generated on 2015-06-28 12:13 EST.

1	An Intel MIC X100 device is a PCIe form factor add-in coprocessor
2	card based on the Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture
3	that runs a Linux OS. It is a PCIe endpoint in a platform and therefore
4	implements the three required standard address spaces i.e. configuration,
5	memory and I/O. The host OS loads a device driver as is typical for
6	PCIe devices. The card itself runs a bootstrap after reset that
7	transfers control to the card OS downloaded from the host driver. The
8	host driver supports OSPM suspend and resume operations. It shuts down
9	the card during suspend and reboots the card OS during resume.
10	The card OS as shipped by Intel is a Linux kernel with modifications
11	for the X100 devices.
12	
13	Since it is a PCIe card, it does not have the ability to host hardware
14	devices for networking, storage and console. We provide these devices
15	on X100 coprocessors thus enabling a self-bootable equivalent environment
16	for applications. A key benefit of our solution is that it leverages
17	the standard virtio framework for network, disk and console devices,
18	though in our case the virtio framework is used across a PCIe bus.
19	
20	MIC PCIe card has a dma controller with 8 channels. These channels are
21	shared between the host s/w and the card s/w. 0 to 3 are used by host
22	and 4 to 7 by card. As the dma device doesn't show up as PCIe device,
23	a virtual bus called mic bus is created and virtual dma devices are
24	created on it by the host/card drivers. On host the channels are private
25	and used only by the host driver to transfer data for the virtio devices.
26	
27	Here is a block diagram of the various components described above. The
28	virtio backends are situated on the host rather than the card given better
29	single threaded performance for the host compared to MIC, the ability of
30	the host to initiate DMA's to/from the card using the MIC DMA engine and
31	the fact that the virtio block storage backend can only be on the host.
32	
33	                                      |
34	               +----------+           |             +----------+
35	               | Card OS  |           |             | Host OS  |
36	               +----------+           |             +----------+
37	                                      |
38	        +-------+ +--------+ +------+ | +---------+  +--------+ +--------+
39	        | Virtio| |Virtio  | |Virtio| | |Virtio   |  |Virtio  | |Virtio  |
40	        | Net   | |Console | |Block | | |Net      |  |Console | |Block   |
41	        | Driver| |Driver  | |Driver| | |backend  |  |backend | |backend |
42	        +-------+ +--------+ +------+ | +---------+  +--------+ +--------+
43	            |         |         |     |      |            |         |
44	            |         |         |     |User  |            |         |
45	            |         |         |     |------|------------|---------|-------
46	            +-------------------+     |Kernel +--------------------------+
47	                      |               |       | Virtio over PCIe IOCTLs  |
48	                      |               |       +--------------------------+
49	+-----------+         |               |                   |  +-----------+
50	| MIC DMA   |         |               |                   |  | MIC DMA   |
51	| Driver    |         |               |                   |  | Driver    |
52	+-----------+         |               |                   |  +-----------+
53	      |               |               |                   |        |
54	+---------------+     |               |                   |  +----------------+
55	|MIC virtual Bus|     |               |                   |  |MIC virtual Bus |
56	+---------------+     |               |                   |  +----------------+
57	      |               |               |                   |              |
58	      |   +--------------+            |            +---------------+     |
59	      |   |Intel MIC     |            |            |Intel MIC      |     |
60	      +---|Card Driver   |            |            |Host Driver    |     |
61	          +--------------+            |            +---------------+-----+
62	                      |               |                   |
63	             +-------------------------------------------------------------+
64	             |                                                             |
65	             |                    PCIe Bus                                 |
66	             +-------------------------------------------------------------+
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