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PTI Gigabit Ethernet board maximizes PICMG 2.16 spec

Posted: 06 Mar 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:pti? performance technologies? system board? gigabit ethernet board? ethernet board?

Performance Technologies Inc. has taken the PICMG 2.16 standard to new heights with the rollout of a switch board that provides the highest bandwidth and density available on a product that meets the PICMG 2.16 standard for packet-switched backplane systems.

The IPnexus CPC6400 board supports 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports, enough to fully populate a CompactPCI 2.16 system running at maximum bandwidth.

Published in September 2001 by the PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group, the PICMG 2.16 standard defines an IP backplane system with up to 21 slots in a star topology.

Since the spec was released, many vendors have rolled out 2.16-based products, but none have supported the maximum number of slots at full gigabit speeds, according to John Peters, vice president of PTI.

Up to now other products at this density have been at the 100Mbps level," said Peters.

The 6U CPC6400 supports 24 nodes including 19 slots, two switches and additional ports on the back of the chassis. Thus a fully populated system using the board has a theoretical maximum bandwidth greater than 40Gbps, Peters said.

The board also supports the PICMG 2.9 IPMI management scheme, as well as selectable integrity checking.

The heart of the CPC6400 is a new 24-port Gigabit Ethernet switch from Broadcom Corp. While the Broadcom switch is so new it was still under nondisclosure at press time, the board follows PTI's philosophy of eschewing ASICs to use only off-the-shelf components.

"We have been leveraging the commodity IC market around PCI, and now we are moving into networking silicon," said Peters.

PTI is already working on high-end products for the upcoming PICMG 3.X standard, which will abandon the PCI bus in favor of a passive backplane that can implement a variety of interfaces, including Ethernet, InfiniBand, and Star Fabric.

The CDC6400 will serve existing customers in telecom, industrial and some military markets. About 30 vendors now have 2.16 products, and roughly a third have Gigabit Ethernet cards suitable to populating systems based on the CDC6400.

"We are seeing a lot of interest in new designs, and half of these people are looking at 2.16," said Ed Bazari, director of marketing at PTI.

Analysts project the market for PICMG 2.16 products could grow from about $40 million this year to $500 million in just a few years, a forecast Bazari termed, "fairly aggressive."

The CDC6400 will be available from PTI in June priced at $6,995

Rick Merritt

EE Times

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