Technologies
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WARF: P140029US01

More Efficient Processing with Self-Invalidating IOMMU Mapping


INVENTORS -

Michael Swift, Mark Hill, Arkaprava Basu

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an input-output memory management unit that reduces processor burden and memory corruption risk.
OVERVIEWIn a computer, an input-output memory management unit (IOMMU) may be positioned between the physical memory and I/O devices such as disk drives. The IOMMU provides the I/O devices with virtual addresses that are mapped to physical addresses of the physical memory. This mapping is stored in a data structure called a page table.

Furthermore, the IOMMU may include permissions limiting the reading and writing within the physical address range allocated to the I/O device, thus preventing it from accessing or corrupting the memory states of others (e.g., other I/O devices, the OS or applications).

Unfortunately, the benefits of the IOMMU in virtualization and memory corruption come at the cost of time and processor resources.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a more efficient IOMMU. They recognized that the time required to delete a page table entry (PTE) from the page table and send the IOMMU cache deletion signal can be eliminated for most transactions.

This is done by attaching a ‘removal rule’ to the PTE that allows for self-deletion. The removal rule may, for example, delete the PTE after a predetermined number of memory accesses or a specified time. This significantly cuts processor time and resources required for IOMMU transactions. Also, the susceptibility of the computer to I/O device or driver errors is reduced.
APPLICATIONS
  • IOMMU hardware and OS/driver software
KEY BENEFITS
  • More efficient processing
  • Lower risk of memory corruption
  • Enables IOMMU to invalidate its own page table entries upon completion
  • Removal rules are conveniently communicated and cached.
  • Eases the burden on the processor
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at emily@warf.org or 608-960-9842.
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Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.