The patent's assignee for patent application serial number 833378 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates generally to input/output processing, and in particular, to determining extended capability of a channel path in an input/output processing system.
"Input/output (I/O) operations are used to transfer data between memory and I/O devices of an I/O processing system. Specifically, data is written from memory to one or more I/O devices, and data is read from one or more I/O devices to memory by executing I/O operations.
"To facilitate processing of I/O operations, an I/O subsystem of the I/O processing system is employed. The I/O subsystem is coupled to main memory and the I/O devices of the I/O processing system and directs the flow of information between memory and the I/O devices. One example of an I/O subsystem is a channel subsystem. The channel subsystem uses channel paths as communications media. Each channel path includes a channel coupled to a control unit, the control unit being further coupled to one or more I/O devices.
"The channel subsystem may employ channel command words (CCWs) to transfer data between the I/O devices and memory. A CCW specifies the command to be executed. For commands initiating certain I/O operations, the CCW designates the memory area associated with the operation, the action to be taken whenever a transfer to or from the area is completed, and other options.
"During I/O processing, a list of CCWs is fetched from memory by a channel. The channel parses each command from the list of CCWs and forwards a number of the commands, each command in its own entity, to a control unit coupled to the channel. The control unit then processes the commands. The channel tracks the state of each command and controls when the next set of commands are to be sent to the control unit for processing. The channel ensures that each command is sent to the control unit in its own entirety. Further, the channel infers certain information associated with processing the response from the control unit for each command.
"Performing I/O processing on a per CCW basis may involve a large amount of processing overhead for the channel subsystem, as the channels parse CCWs, track state information, and react to responses from the control units. Therefore, it may be beneficial to shift much of the processing burden associated with interpreting and managing CCW and state information from the channel subsystem to the control units. Simplifying the role of channels in communicating between the control units and an operating system in the I/O processing system may increase communication throughput as less handshaking is performed. However, altering command sequences, as well as roles of the channel subsystem and the control units, can cause difficulties in interfacing with control units that support different modes of operation in the same I/O processing system.
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