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PLX bridges connectivity gap via PCIe-based SSD

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SSD? USB? PCIe?

PLX Technology, Inc. has unveiled a USB-to-PCIe reference platform for bridging the external connectivity gap laptop computers encounter when using PCIe-based SSDs.

Claimed as the industry's first, the platform is based on PLX's PCIe 2.0-to-USB 3.0 SuperSpeed controller technology, and combines two widely-used interconnect technologies. It leverages the 5Gb/s performance speeds of both standards.

The platform is housed in an external dongle enclosure. It allows OEMs to create solutions that leverage laptops' USB 3.0 ports and connect effortlessly to PCIe-based, small-form-factor SSDs in external enclosures. Additionally, embedded system makers can design the PLX controller technology directly into systems in which PCIe isn't already native, creating direct PCIe-to-USB 3.0 connectivity to achieve a similarly powerful external-SSD connection.

It employs the USB mass storage class specification, which does not require any drivers, therefore saving time and development costs. The PLX controller technology's low-power architecture promotes power efficiency, consuming as low as 500mW. The platform also supports the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) standard, facilitating maximum interoperability among legacy storage and system elements.

PLX is presently in co-development efforts with vendors to deploy the reference platform for SSDs, with PLX designed development kits expected to be available in the third quarter. These design references will be available in the PCIe M.2 form factor, a PCI-SIG standard that facilitates designs in a small-form-factor enclosure.

PLX Chief Scientist Jack Regula's technical presentation on integrating rack level connectivity into a PCIe switch at the Hot Chips Conference 2013. Source: PLX

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