Traditionally, I/O devices have always been abstracted as characterdevices In that context we designed ZIO, an I/O framework capable ofsub-nanosecond time stamps, full meta-data delivery and symmetricalinput and output data flows. PF_ZIO is a new protocol family thatoffers a more flexible I/O framework than char devices, making localand remote devices look alike. PF_ZIO includes SOCK_RAW, SOCK_DGRAMand SOCK_STREAM, and supports sniffing for monitoring purposes. Withit, a single file descriptor can convey data blocks from and to anynumber of peripherals. While ZIO is already in use within some CERNdevices, PF_ZIO is not yet used in production, but the code is verypromising.
The intended audience is developers and researchers in the industrial area,especially those who design the hardware or the drivers. No previousexposure to ZIO is needed.