Intel + Microsoft Contribute "SIOV" I/O Virtualization Spec To Open Compute Project

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 23 March 2022 at 05:55 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Intel announced yesterday that they in cooperation with Microsoft have contributed the Scalable I/O Virtualization (SIOV) specification to the Open Compute Project for being an open standard moving forward.

The Scalable I/O Virtualization specification is designed to be a "scalable and flexible approach to hardware-assisted I/O virtualization" and builds atop PCI Express and Compute Express Link (CXL).

Intel's announcement from Tuesday sums it up as:
SIOV architecture will enable data center operators to deliver more cost-effective access to high-performance accelerators and other key I/O devices for their customers, as well as relieve I/O device manufacturers of cost and programming burdens imposed under previous standards.

The new SIOV specification is a modernized hardware and software architecture that enables efficient, mass-scale virtualization of I/O devices, and overcomes the scaling limitations of prior I/O virtualization technologies. Under the terms of the OCP contribution, any company can adopt SIOV technology and incorporate it into their products under an open, zero-cost license.

In cloud environments, I/O devices including network adaptors, GPUs and storage controllers are shared among many virtualized workloads requiring their services. Hardware-assisted I/O virtualization technologies enable efficient routing of I/O traffic from the workloads through the virtualization software stack to the devices. It helps keep overhead low and performance close to “bare-metal” speeds.

The spec is now part of the Open Compute Project (OCP) initiative and those interested in all the technical details behind SIOV can see the public SIOV spec document.

Scalable I/O Virtualization has been donated by Intel and Microsoft to the OCP project.

Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week