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Vol. 1 No. 9 November 2002

Definition

Direct Memory Access: Direct Memory Access, or DMA, is a command set typically associated with the ATA/IDE disk drives that transfers data between a hard disk drive through the computer's bus, and on to main memory. It provides better performance than its predecessor, Programmed Input/Output, or PIO, since it can request data from multiple sectors without a handshake, explains Marc Noblitt, manager of I/O planning at Seagate. Current ATA disk drives typically ship with UltraDMA, which today provide burst data transfer rates of up to 100MB/s.

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