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PLX beefs up PCIe product line with new switches

Posted: 19 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCIe? PCI Express? switches? PLX Technology? ExpressLane?

ExpressLane switches from PLX Technology

PLX Technology Inc.'s product marketing director, Akber Kazmi, couldn't have said it better. "PCIe is everywhere now; it is on the processor, it is on the chipset, it is on the backplane, it is outside the box, connecting other boxes, linking to WAN, LAN." That's the message the company wants to impart as it introduces three new ExpressLane switches, the PEX 8525 (24 lanes, 5 ports), PEX 8533 (32 lanes, 6 ports) and PEX 8547 (48 lanes, 3 ports). This brings to 13 the total number of PCIe products from PLX. "We have basically collared the markets, from storage to server to communications, and now, the consumer space as well," said Kazmi.

The PEX 8547 for instance is optimized for dual graphics. "In the last two years, we have seen the graphics market explode because it has no choice but to use PCIe because it is just running out of gas in terms of the existing bus technology to widen the bandwidth for such applications," said Kazmi.

The new releases are part of PLX's third-generation architecture portfolio. About three months ago, the company introduced its first third generation-based device, the PEX 8548. Coming up with its latest offering, PLX did some fine-tuning, noted Kazmi, "based on what we learned from the customers and from the industry, as well as from our own organization, from our own understanding of what is being used by the customers, what is not being used, and what new features they are looking for." The result? The devices feature the Cut-Thru architecture, which drops latency to 110ns, the lowest in the industry; a power consumption of only 100mW per lane; true peer-to-peer support; on-chip Hot-Plug controllers; port arbitration for QoS; dual host support; and non-blocking switch architecture. "All our devices, including our new releases, are extremely flexible, which you can mold and change and turn and twist based on the application you are applying on the device," explained Kazmi.

The switches have all successfully completed PCI Express Base Specification, Revision 1.1 testing procedures. They are shipping today in pre-production, with mass rollout set for February.

Meanwhile, PLX has already begun development toward PCIe 2.0 specification. More updates about this will be available by the 2H, noted Kazmi.

- Celeste dela Torre
Electronic Engineering Times -Asia

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