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Also called Intelligent I/O, a new I/O architecture being developed by a consortium of computer companies called the I2O special Interest Group (SIG). I2O is designed to eliminate I/O bottlenecks by utilizing special I/O processors (IOPs) that handle the nitty gritty details of interrupt handling, buffering and data transfer. In addition, an I2O driver consists of an OS-specific module (OSM) that deals with higher-level operating system details (such as accessing files) and a hardware device module (HDM), that understands how to communicate with specific devices. Because the OSM and HDM are autonomous, they can perform a number of tasks independently, without sending data over the I/O bus.

I2O is being designed to work with PCI but isn't expect to be widely available until 1998 or later.

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