packet driver

packet driver

IBM PC local area network software that divides data into packets which it routes to the network. It also handles incoming data, reassembling the packets so that application programs can read the data as a continuous stream.

FTP Software created the specification for IBM PC packet drivers but Crynwr Software dominate the market and have done the vast majority of the implementations.

Packet drivers provide a simple, common programming interface that allows multiple applications to share a network interface at the data link layer. Packet drivers demultiplex incoming packets among the applications by using the network media's standard packet type or service access point field(s).

The packet driver provides calls to initiate access to a specific packet type, to end access to it, to send a packet, to get statistics on the network interface and to get information about the interface.

Protocol implementations that use the packet driver can coexist and can make use of one another's services, whereas multiple applications which do not use the driver do not coexist on one machine properly. Through use of the packet driver, a user could run TCP/IP, XNS and a proprietary protocol implementation such as DECnet, Banyan's, LifeNet's, Novell's or 3Com's without the difficulties associated with pre-empting the network interface.

Applications which use the packet driver can also run on new network hardware of the same class without being modified; only a new packet driver need be supplied.

There are several levels of packet driver. The first is the basic packet driver, which provides minimal functionality but should be simple to implement and which uses very few host resources. The basic driver provides operations to broadcast and receive packets. The second driver is the extended packet driver, which is a superset of the basic driver. The extended driver supports less commonly used functions of the network interface such as multicast, and also gathers statistics on use of the interface and makes these available to the application. The third level, the high-performance functions, support performance improvements and tuning.
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A new 7R/E Packet Driver is also available, which merges with Lucent's 5ESS Switch to provide efficient packet networking and can handle voice, data and video options.
Silicom is cooperating with the Italian manufacturer to co-develop a special packet driver for the USNET Real-Time TCP/IP embedded networking protocol suite.
Its new 7R/E Packet Driver provides a smooth gateway to packet networks, allowing service providers to merge their voice and data networks as one.
The 7R/E Packet Driver turns the 5ESS Switch into a packet switch that can use existing hardware to provide a smooth transition into the future.
The Sportster ISDN 128K also supports NDIS, ODI, Packet Driver, WinISDN and TAPI interfaces for use with popular Internet, remote access and data communications software packages.
The product also supports NDIS, ODI, Packet Driver and TAPI interfaces for use with popular Internet, remote LAN access and data communications software packages.
Software Developer's Toolkit to assist with the system integration process: - Sample PCI drivers for WIN NT and embedded operating systems - Sample applications - Packet drivers and test code
Interface level support options include packet drivers for Ethernet, Token Ring and SLIP, as well as serial line support for SLIP, CSLIP and PPP.
It also comes with NDIS drivers for Microsoft Lan Manager, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, Windows 95, IBM LAN Pathway Access, PC-NFS, and Banyan VINES, as well as packet drivers for TCP/IP and UNIX drivers for SCO Unix, Unixware, and SunSoft's Solaris.
Both PCMCIA adapters also come with NDIS drivers to support Microsoft Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, and Windows NT, as well as IBM LAN Manager, IBM LAN Server, LAN Support, OS/2 EE, OS/2 WARP, Digital PATHWORKS, Banyan VINES, Wollongong's Pathway Access, and Sun's PC-NFS; Packet Drivers to support FTP PC/TCP, NCSA TCP/IP; and SCO Unix drivers.
01, and Packet drivers to support NetWare, LAN Manager, Windows for Workgroups, and TCP/IP network operating systems environments.