SAN JOSE, Calif. – Chip designer PLX Technology, Inc. and board maker Kontron announced a design using PCI Express 3.0 to “routinely achieve” 5.6 GBytes/second in throughput between boards in a rack system.
The design uses PLX’s ExpressLane switch chips and Kontron’s VX3042 and VX3044 single-board computers based on the Intel Core i7 processor running in a VPX rack. The boards also use Kontron’s proprietary VXFabric software, geared for inter-processor communications in a VPX system.
VXFabric implements TCP/IP over PCIe as a second data plane in addition to two 10 Gbit Ethernet channels on the boards. The software supports links to the PLX switches allowing the boards to use existing TCP/IP application without modifications.
"Embedded-computer systems rarely realize a tenfold increase in I/O performance and with absolutely no porting effort,” said Vincent Chuffart, product marketing manager, Kontron in a press statement.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.