Definition of channel

 


In the IBM 360/370/390 series of computers all I/O is handled by devices called channels. A channel is realy a specialized limited function CPU that takes the load off the main CPU for performing I/O operations. The processor complex will pass a CCW (Channel Command Word) to the channel which will then direct the requested device to perform the operation. The channel only interrupts the processor when the I/O is complete or an exception condition arises.


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