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Xilinx bares ExpressCard app

Posted: 09 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ExpressCard? Xilinx? PX1011A? PCI Express? PDD 2016?

During the International Consumer Electronics Show, Xilinx Inc. demonstrated what it touts as the industry's first programmable ExpressCard application, comprised of the Philips PX1011A PCI Express PHY and PDD 2016 DVB-T module, a Xilinx Spartan-3E FPGA and an optimized Xilinx PCI Express LogiCORE IP core. The solution is designed to meet the PCMCIA performance and power requirements for the ExpressCard module specification.

Recently, the PCMCIA working group developed the next-generation ExpressCard PC technology specification to take advantage of the scalable, high-bandwidth serial PCI Express interface and adding the ever-present USB2.0 interface for mobile and desktop PCs. The ExpressCard extension leverages the capabilities of the PCI Express interface to deliver a hot-swappable module that is said to be reliable, durable, and easily expanded in a system while ensuring interoperability. The programmable solution being demonstrated by Xilinx provides a high-bandwidth serial PCI Express interface to speed development time for mobile and desktop PC add-in cards to support the scalable PCI Express standard usage in a variety of communications, storage, consumer, medicaland test applications.

"The ExpressCard solution has many characteristics that benefit from the performance and flexibility of our programmable devices. Combined with Philip's full-featured PHY, we can satisfy the module's rigid performance, form-factor and thermal constraints," said Krishna Rangasayee, senior director of vertical markets and partnerships at Xilinx. "Given the expected ubiquitous adoption of this solution for PCs, this demonstrates the advantages of Xilinx FPGA technology in high-volume consumer applicationsnamely, efficient product development at a competitive price with no compromises."

All ExpressCard modules should comply with the specified thermal power limits defined by PCI-SIG. The total power needed for the ExpressCard solution is below the 1.3W limit for the ExpressCard/34 modules. The solution meets the module size requirements as well, at 34-by-75-by-5mm, due to the Philips PCI Express PHY (which delivers the Serdes and the physical coding sub-layer), and the small form-factor Xilinx Spartan-3E (which hosts the four main PCI Express logic modules along with a Xilinx PCI Express PIPE Endpoint LogiCORE).

According to Electronic Trend Publications (ETP), the number of PCI Express ports is expected to exceed 2 billion in 2008. "The industry leaders are pricing their PCI Express offerings quite low, responding to market demand for PCI Express based product offerings," said Steve Berry, ETP principal analyst, in a statement. "The aggressive pricing of Philips PX1011A and Xilinx' Spartan-3E will help accelerate the adoption of this interface in many different high-volume applications by providing a flexible solution at competitive price points compared to fixed devices."

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