Communication Streaming Architecture (CSA):
Intel's new Gigabit Ethernet communications architecture! Eliminating the Bottleneck for PCI Networking.
Gigabit Ethernet (1000BaseT) CAT5, RJ45 Copper is backwards compatible with 100BaseT and 10BaseT EtherNet Technologies. Have 100BaseT infrastructure already installed? Good! Installing Gigabit Ethernet? Sure. Plan ahead! On Intel's CSA Bus Architecture it makes sense on new PC's right now when those PC's are Intel P4's. Adding Gigabit Ethernet Adapters on a 32 bit PCI Bus architecture, maybe not. The PCI Bus can handle up to 400 Mbps throughput whereas Intel's CSA Gigabit architecture can handle throughput of 750 Mbps (Megabits per second). Big difference? Not full 1000BaseT, still better than 100BaseT Duplexed on a Switch when you know the Specs and Bus architecture limitations. Expect Gigabit Switch prices to follow suit! Linksys has an 8 Port SOHO Gigabit Switch reasonably priced and available today (7/15/2003).
CSA creates a dedicated link from the (MCH) Memory Controller Hub to the Network Interface (LOM - LAN on MotherBoard), offloading network traffic from the PCI Bus. CSA, based on HubLink Architecture, provides a bi-directional bandwidth throughput of 266 MB per second (2 Gbps) theoretically, making it twice as fast as the 32-bit PCI Bus interface.
Direct attachment to the MCH affords a double benefit - Memory read and write operations have lower latencies, because data moves directly from the Network interface to RAM. CSA also reduces the number of traverses across the HubLink interface to the ICH by half, further reducing the latency of the network transmission. Network-sourced traffic is sent from the network controller via CSA to the MCH and RAM, then to the (ICH) I/O Controller Hub via the HubLink interface and local storage. This architecture eliminates the latencies inherent to PCI-based network traffic.
In other words, CSA is a dedicated bus that connects to
the Memory Controller Hub (MCH) on the Chipsets,
bypassing the PCI Bus on the I/O Controller Hub, freeing its bandwidth for
other I/O operations. The CSA connection provides bi-directional bandwidth
of 2 Gbps, twice that of the 32-bit PCI bus.
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Group Network News!
Web Development, Gill Boyd & Team - Posted 04/17/2003; Updated 03/05/2004