The write to memory is another standard bus cycle step 3 When the write is

The write to memory is another standard bus cycle

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write it. The write to memory is another standard bus cycle (step 3). When the write is complete, the disk controller sends an acknowledgement signal to the disk controller, also over the bus (step 4). The DMA controller then increments the memory address to use and decrements the byte count. If the byte count is still greater than 0, steps 2 through 4 are repeated until the count reaches 0. At this point the controller causes an interrupt. When the operating system starts up, it does not have to copy the block to memory; it is already there. You may be wondering why the controller does not just store the bytes in main memory as soon as it gets them from the disk. In other words, why does it need an internal buffer? There are two reasons. First, by doing internal buffering, the disk controller can verify the checksum before starting a transfer. If the checksum is incorrect, an error is signaled and no transfer to memory is done. [Page 229] The second reason is that once a disk transfer has started, the bits keep arriving from the disk at a constant rate, whether the controller is ready for them or not. If the controller tried to write data directly to memory, it would have to go over the system bus for each word transferred. If the bus were busy due to some other device using it, the controller would have to wait. If the next disk word arrived before the previous one had been stored, the controller would have to store it somewhere. If the bus were very busy, the controller might end up storing quite a few words and having a lot of administration to do as well. When the block is buffered internally, the bus is not needed until the DMA begins, so the design of the controller is much simpler because the DMA transfer to memory is not time critical. Not all computers use DMA. The argument against it is that the main CPU is often far faster than the DMA controller and can do the job much faster (when the limiting factor is not the speed of the I/O device). If there is no other work for it to do, having the (fast) CPU wait for the (slow) DMA controller to finish is pointless. Also, getting rid of the DMA controller and having the CPU do all the work in software saves money, important on low-end (embedded) computers. 3.7. Disks
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All modern computers except embedded ones have disk drives. For that reason, we will now study them, starting with the hardware, then moving on to say some general things about disk software. After that we will delve into the way MINIX 3 controls its disks. 3.7.1. Disk Hardware All real disks are organized into cylinders, each one containing as many tracks as there are heads stacked vertically. The tracks are divided into sectors, with the number of sectors around the circumference typically being 8 to 32 on floppy disks, and up to several hundred on some hard disks. The simplest designs have the same number of sectors on each track. All sectors contain the same number of bytes, although a little thought will make it clear that sectors close to the outer rim of the disk will be physically longer than those close to the hub. The time to read or write each sector will be same,
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