PCI Express HAS become the leading chip interconnect, dominating in servers, storage systems and PCs. PC economies of scale have spurred processor and ASIC suppliers to integrate PCIe interfaces. In turn, those chips are driving PCI Express into embedded systems and networking.
The Linley Group estimates last year's market for PCI Express connectivity products, primarily bridges and switches, at $55 million. Most of the revenue was from the server and storage segments.
We expect the connectivity market to exceed $195 million by 2011. Much of the growth will come from communications and embedded. A breakout of this market is detailed in The Linley Group report "A Guide to High-Speed Interconnects."
PCIe has evolved from the 2.5-Gbit/second serial data rate of the original spec (Gen1) to 5 Gbits/s in v2.0 (Gen2). Multigigabit-rate requirements for networking and the adoption of blade servers are driving the need for Gen2.
Requirements in server, storage, embedded and networking applications differ, however, from the standard PCIe configuration in PCs. PC applications focus on low cost, with four-layer boards and small trace lengths.