System Interface Guide


Real-time processing often requires fast, high-bandwidth interprocess communication. The choice of which mechanisms should be used can be dictated by functional requirements, and the relative performance will depend upon application behavior.

The traditional method of interprocess communication in UNIX is the pipe. Unfortunately, pipes can have framing problems. Messages can become intermingled by multiple writers or torn apart by multiple readers.

IPC messages mimic the reading and writing of files. They are easier to use than pipes when more than two processes must communicate by using a single medium.

The IPC shared semaphore facility provides process synchronization. Shared memory is the fastest form of interprocess communication. The main advantage of shared memory is that the copying of message data is eliminated. The usual mechanism for synchronizing shared memory access is semaphores.