Happy Birthday VAX 11/780 (influence of)

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Sat Oct 30 14:34:25 CDT 2010

On 10/30/10 1:08 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> Aside from expanding program storage, the large addressing space was
> used to map file space (another type of "memory-mapped I/O"), so file
> access was actually performed through the paging hardware/software.
> That was kind of cool, as the STAR was a memory-to-memory vector
> machine, so you could use vector instructions on entire files, rather
> than have to issue reads and writes for pieces of a file.

   That functionality is in use all over the place today as mmap(), 
accessing files as if they were memory, pushing the read/write burden 
out into the VM system.  It's extremely effective.

   I'd not consider it to be "memory-mapped I/O" at all, though, in the 
context of "a processor reading and writing I/O ports".  Sure, file I/O 
is a sort of I/O, and mmap() and similar techniques map that file I/O 
into the address space, but the context of this discussion...and indeed, 
most, it not all use of the term "memory-mapped I/O" doesn't refer to 
this sort of thing.


Dave McGuire
Port Charlotte, FL

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