Journal of Computer Science and Technology

User-level device drivers: Achieved performance

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Running device drivers as unprivileged user-level code, encapsulated into their own process, has often been proposed as a technique for increasing system robustness. However, in the past, systems based on user-level drivers have generally exhibited poor I/O performance. Consequently, user-level device drivers have never caught on to any significant degree. In this paper we demonstrate that it is possible to build systems which employ user-level device drivers, without significant performance degradation, even for high-bandwidth devices such as Gigabit Ethernet. © 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.