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New for Network Drivers

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 introduce the following new driver-support features for networking drivers. These features include NDIS 6.30, Wi-Fi Direct and new Mobile Broadband Features, Receive Segment Coalescing, a new SIO_LOOPBACK_FAST_PATH IOCTL, Hyper-V Extensible Switch Extensions, and Windows Filtering Platform.

The following sections describe the new features for networking drivers.

NDIS 6.30

This version of NDIS extends the earlier versions of NDIS with many new features and improvements. For more information about the features and improvements, see Introduction to NDIS 6.30.

Wi-Fi Direct and new Mobile Broadband Features

Receive Segment Coalescing

Receive segment coalescing (RSC) enables network card miniport drivers to coalesce multiple TCP segments and indicate them as a single coalesced unit (SCU) to the operating system's networking subsystem.

See the following topics for more information:


The new Windows Sockets SIO_LOOPBACK_FAST_PATH I/O control code enables a fast path for loopback on a TCP socket. This feature can lower latency and improve performance for applications that use TCP loopback (applications used by the financial service industry, for example).

See the following topics for more information:

Hyper-V Extensible Switch Extensions

The Hyper-V Extensible Switch is a virtual Ethernet switch that runs in the management operating system of the Hyper-V parent partition. Hyper-V Extensible Switch extensions can be created by using the NDIS Hyper-V Extensible Switch functions or the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) vSwitch functions.

See the following topics for more information:

Windows Filtering Platform

The Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) allows access to the TCP/IP packet processing path, wherein outgoing and incoming packets can be examined or changed before allowing them to be processed further. By tapping into the TCP/IP processing path, independent software vendors (ISVs) can more easily create firewalls, antivirus software, diagnostic software, and other types of applications and services. WFP provides user-mode and kernel-mode components so that third-party ISVs can participate in the filtering decisions that take place at several layers in the TCP/IP protocol stack and throughout the operating system. The WFP connection redirect feature allows a WFP callout kernel driver to redirect a connection locally to a user-mode process, perform content inspection in user-mode, and forward the inspected content using a different connection to the original destination.

Several IOCTL control codes were added to the WSK Socket IOCTL Operations to allow multiple WFP-based connection proxy applications to inspect the same traffic flow in a cooperative manner.

Related topics

Network Devices



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