Direct memory access (DMA) is a feature of computerized systems that allows certain hardware subsystems to access main system memory independently of the central processing unit (CPU).

Direct memory access, or DMA , is the advanced topic that completes our overview of memory issues. DMA is the hardware mechanism that allows peripheral components to transfer their I/O data directly to and from main memory without the need to involve the system processor. Use of this mechanism can greatly increase throughput to and from a device, because a great deal of computational overhead is eliminated.

history | excerpt history