PCI Express News

In this issue:

PCI Express

PLX Third-Generation PCIe Switches Now On PCI-SIG Integrators List

PCI Express ChipsPEX 8525 (24 lanes, 5 ports), PEX 8533 (32 lanes, 6 ports), PEX 8547 (48 lanes, 3 ports) and PEX 8548 (48 lanes, 9 ports) PCIe switches have all successfully completed the rigorous PCI Express Base Specification, Revision 1.1 testing procedures and are on the PCI-SIG integrators list. These devices offer PLX's proven architecture, the lowest latency and power, highest performance, and as of this writing arethe only rev 1.1 switches approved by the PCI-SIG.

Dynamic memory allocation, large packet memory, and non-blocking internal switch architecture allow a full line-rate on all ports for performance-hungry applications. The switches feature PLX's latest Cut-Thru architecture, which attributes to dropping latency down to an unrivaled 110ns in both host centric and peer-to-peer modes, thereby dramatically increasing the throughput in bandwidth-demanding applications. These switches consume the lowest power in the industry at 100mW per lane. This power can be further reduced through the on-chip programmable SerDes which can also be turned off when unused. Dual-Host designs are implemented via a standard PCI Express "crosslink" feature and PLX's moveable upstream port. Highly flexible ports from x1 to x16 allow numerous configurations as either upstream or downstream, while some ports feature a Hot-Plug controller allowing field upgrades without burdening the design with costly external components.

Five New PCI Express Technical White Papers

Power, latency and performance are key ingredients in the designer's kitchen. Read how PLX can help your design get cooking (to download visit www.plxtech.com/techinfo).

  • PCIe Switch Power Consumption Explained (PDF)
  • PCI Express Packet Latency Matters (PDF)
  • Choosing PCI Express Packet Payload Size (PDF)
  • On Chip Standard Hot-Plug Controller (PDF)
  • Checking PCIe Switch Performance in an Ethernet Network (PDF)

PCI Express Products Now Available

The PLX ExpressLane™ PCI Express® product family offers fully configurable Switches with non-transparent bridge function, and forward/reverse Bridges. Our PCIe Switches and Bridges are fully-compliant with the PCI Express Base 1.0a and 1.1 specifications. Higher port count devices and PCIe Gen 2 products are also in development today.


Part Number Lanes Ports Hot-Plug Controllers Non-
Latency (ns) Package Size (mm) Power (W) Typ. Power (W) Max. Availability
PEX 8508 8 5 5 Yes 150 19 x 19 1.6 2.1 Now
PEX 8516 16 4 4 Yes 275 27 x 27 3.2 4.3 Now
PEX 8517 16 5 4 Yes 150 27 x 27 2.6 3.6 Now
PEX 8518 16 5 5 Yes 150 23 x 23 2.6 3.6 Now
PEX 8524 24 6 6 Yes 275 31 x 31 3.9 6.1 Now
PEX 8525 24 5 3 No 115 31 x 31 2.6 3.7 Now
PEX 8532 32 8 8 Yes 275 35 x 35 5.7 7.4 Now
PEX 8533 32 6 3 No 115 35 x 35 3.3 4.8 Now
PEX 8547 48 3 0 No 110 37.5 x 37.5 4.9 7.1 Now
PEX 8548 48 9 3 No 110 37.5 x 37.5 4.9 7.1 Now

ExpressLane PCIe BRIDGES

Part Number Lanes Description Power Package Size (mm) Availability
PEX 8111 1 PCIe to PCI 400mW 10 x 10 / 13 x 13 Now
PEX 8114 4 PCIe to PCI-X 2W 17 x 17 Now
PEX 8311 1 Local Bus to PCIe 1W 21 x 21 Now

PCI-SIG Delivers PCI Express 2.0 Specification and External Cabling 1.0 Specification

New PCIe Base 2.0 specification doubles the transfer rate to 5GT/s and introduces enhanced features and protocol improvements (press release). PCI-SIG has also released the 1.0 version of the PCIe cable specification that discusses copper cabling and connector requirements to meet the PCI Express signaling needs at 2.5 GT/s. PLX Technology has already begun development toward PCIe 2.0 and is shipping products today supporting external cabling based on PCIe 1.1. Please contact your local Sales manager for information on these solutions.

Articles of Interest in Major Media

EDN Magazine Nominates PLX 48-lane Switch as Most Innovative Product of 2006

Drawn from the EDN list of Hot 100 products of 2006, PLX's PEX 8548 PCI Express switch is now selected for EDN's 17th annual "Innovation of the Year" award. Vote for PLX. Built by and for electronics engineers, this list distills the most innovative and significant products of the year. EDN editors mercilessly cull the herd of new-product announcements they see during the year, resulting in this distillation of the most innovative and significant offerings. Winners will be announced on April 2, 2007. (Hot 100 published by EDN)

What's New on the PLX Website?

  • Immediate download access of our Software Development Kit (SDK). This includes support for PLX 85xx and 8114 PCI Express devices; PLX Device Editor (PDE) GUI utility; Host-side C/C++ PLX API and device drivers with source code; Supports Windows® and Linux kernels 2.4 & 2.6; PEX SDK Manual (download page)
  • PEX EEPROM images are now online. You can now find EEPROM images for most PLX PCI Express devices in the relevant parts toolbox. (go to product page)

PLX 2007 Event Calendar

Join PLX at the following industry events. Embedded Systems Conference, San Jose, April 1-5; Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Beijing China, April 17-18; WinHEC, Los Angeles, May 14-15; PCI-SIG Developer Conference, San Jose, May 21-22; Computex, Taipei Taiwan, June 5-9; IDF San Francisco, September 18-20; IDF Taipei Taiwan, October 15-16.

PCI Express Technology Training Classes by Mindshare

MindShare's PCI Express system architecture courses arm the members of your team with the technical information they require, using a concentrated and energetic approach that eliminates weeks of digging through the spec. Their primary offering is a 4-day full-length course that covers all the technical details of the PCI Express spec. Recognizing that many engineers are unable to take much time away from work, they also offer a condensed 3-day core architecture course. Beyond that, they have created a 1-day technology overview course for those personnel who may only need a high-level architecture course. Visit the Mindshare Website for more information. 

Access PCI Express datasheets or update your PLX profile by logging in at http://www.plxtech.com/mydata/.

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