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Bringing the MOST in interface controllers

Posted: 01 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:networking? MOST? interface controller?

The original Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST) network, used in many luxury European cars, is a powerful network architecture that utilizes a full software protocol stack to manage the network. Because MOST hardware ICs handle the low-level data-link layer operations, the external protocol stack is generally smaller than other network protocol stacks, while still being able to support many nodes with complex interactions.

These MOST systems, with a large number of nodes built by many suppliers, commonly have a system integrator that coordinates functions among all the suppliers of the system.

The latest generation of MOST chips, Intelligent Network Interface Controllers (INICs), have vastly simplified the network interface by integrating all the low-level, real-time network operations, including the network driver, on a chip. As a result, a stand-alone network node can handle all the housekeeping functions of the network autonomously. This architecture leaves only the highest layers of the protocol stack to be implemented off the chip, allowing the external processor to focus on the application and not on the underlying network.

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