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
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.