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Control of I/O operations in a multiprogrammed system involves many complicated functions, such as allocation of facilities and protection against mutual interference among programs. In SYSTEM/360, most responsibilities associated with multiprogramming I/O operations, as well as all device dependent functions, are assigned to the programming system, and channel equipment is designed to operate in conjunction with a supervisory program. Channels permit overlapping of CPU and I/O activity and provide general functions more economically implemented in hardware than in software.
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