An Acronym for Direct Memory Access

A method for peripherals (eg PCI and IDE devices) to copy data directly into a memory buffer, rather than explicitly being copied by the CPU. For example, SoundCards like the famous SB16 used to use DMA, although the drivers generally don't bother any more. It can significantly speed up data transfers for HardDisks and CDROMs.

See also:

  • /proc/dma (shows you "DMA channels" (used by PCI cards?))
  • hdparm(8)