Personal computing with affordable computers and their peripheral devices becomes more popular. To use such devices more efficiently and improve their usability, people want to share surrounding peripheral devices between computers without any modification of their own computing environments. The recent device sharing technologies in the pervasive computing area are not sufficient for the peripheral devices of personal computers because these technologies do not provide the network-transparency for applications and device drivers. In this paper, we propose USB/IP as a transparent device sharing mechanism over IP network. This advanced device sharing mechanism is based on the modern sophisticated peripheral interfaces and their supports in operating systems. By the Virtual Host Controller Interface Driver we have implemented as a peripheral bus driver, users can share diverse devices over networks without any modification in existing operating systems and applications. The experiments show that USB/IP has fairly practical I/O performance for various USB devices, including isochronous ones. We also describe the performance optimization criteria for the further improvements.
2005 by the Information Processing Society of Japan