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<p>The use of a special-purpose coprocessor for supporting message passing is proposed. An actual message-based operating system is partitioned into computation and communication parts, executing, respectively, on a host and a message coprocessor which interact through shared queues. Its performance is measured on a multiprocessor. Hardware support in the form of a special-purpose smart bus and smart shared memory is designed. The benefits of these components are demonstrated through analytical modeling using generalized timed Petri nets. The analysis shows good agreement with experimental results and indicates that substantial benefits may be obtained when the software is partitioned between host and the message coprocessor and when a small amount of special-purpose hardware is added.</p>
Index Termshardware support; interprocess communication; special-purpose coprocessor; message passing; message-based operating system; shared queues; special-purpose smart bus; smart shared memory; analytical modeling; generalized timed Petri nets; distributed processing; performance evaluation; Petri nets; protocols

M. Solomon, U. Ramachandran and M. Vernon, "Hardware Support for Interprocess Communication," in IEEE Transactions on Parallel & Distributed Systems, vol. 1, no. , pp. 318-329, 1990.
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