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I/O issues in a multimedia system

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2 Author(s)
Reddy, A.L.N. ; IBM Almaden Res. Center, San Jose, CA, USA ; Wyllie, J.C.

In future computer system design, I/O systems will have to support continuous media such as video and audio, whose system demands are different from those of data such as text. Multimedia computing requires us to focus on designing I/O systems that can handle real-time demands. Video- and audio-stream playback and teleconferencing are real-time applications with different I/O demands. We primarily consider playback applications which require guaranteed real-time I/O throughput. In a multimedia server, different service phases of a real-time request are disk, small computer systems interface (SCSI) bus, and processor scheduling. Additional service might be needed if the request must be satisfied across a local area network. We restrict ourselves to the support provided at the server, with special emphasis on two service phases: disk scheduling and SCSI bus contention. When requests have to be satisfied within deadlines, traditional real-time systems use scheduling algorithms such as earliest deadline first (EDF) and least slack time first. However, EDF makes the assumption that disks are preemptable, and the seek-time overheads of its strict real-time scheduling result in poor disk utilization. We can provide the constant data rate necessary for real-time requests in various ways that require trade-offs. We analyze how trade-offs that involve buffer space affect the performance of scheduling policies. We also show that deferred deadlines, which increase buffer requirements, improve system performance significantly.<>

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 3 )