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PCI Express starter kit for $349

Posted: 05 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Embedded Systems Conference? Xilinx? PCI Express? FPGA?

At the annual Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), Xilinx Inc. unveiled what it touts as the industry's lowest cost PCI Express starter kit.

Fully compliant with PCI Express specification v1.1, the new kit is based on the company's low-cost family of Spartan-3 FPGAs and uses the PX1011A PHY (physical layer) from Philips and an optimized PCI Express IP core from the Xilinx LogiCORE portfolio to deliver a fully compliant PCI Express implementation. According to the press release, product developers can now immediately deploy PCI Express capabilities for high-volume applications, including add-in cards, host bus adapters, graphics cards and high-end servers.

"PCI Express is now becoming the de facto standard in mainstream applications and developers need a low-cost, flexible approach to implement it. With our starter kit, they get the best of both worldsa full-featured PCI Express solution based on an extremely cost-effective and programmable platform," said Mark Aaldering, vice president of the embedded processing and IP division at Xilinx. "Now it's faster and easier for designers to deploy PCI Express-compliant products with our low-cost Spartan-3 FPGAs."

The PCI Express starter kit showcases a programmable PCI Express endpoint silicon solution which has passed all the latest PCI Express compliance and interoperability tests. The two-chip solution, priced at less than $12 in high volumes, is said to be the industry's lowest cost programmable PCI Express solution to be added to the PCI-SIG PCI Express Integrators List and to demonstrate full compliance to the PCI Express 1.1 specification.

The starter kit consists of a reference board with a one-million gate Spartan-3 FPGA, the Philips PHY, DDR memory and Flash memory. It comes with evaluation versions of the Xilinx Integrated Software Environment (ISE) Foundation and Embedded Developer Kit (EDK) design software suites.

The PCI Express starter kit is priced at $349 and includes a limited time evaluation version of the Xilinx IP core. The PCI Express LogiCORE IP core is priced at $14,000 (one time charge), and is available at a discounted price of $5645 to registered attendees of the Avnet Speedway Workshops at ESC.

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