SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The spec is done for a mobile interconnect that will pack PCI Express into smartphones and tablets. Cadence and Synopsys showed working silicon for the M-PCIe interface at the annual meeting of the PCI Special Interest Group here.
The spec lets PCIe protocols ride the M-PHY defined by the MIPI trade group and already widely used in mobile devices. OEMs will adopt the interface to lower costs and shrink development times by reusing PCIe software to replace a wide variety of mobile interconnect protocols.
Separately, the PCI SIG expects to finish work before June 2014 on OcuLink, a 32 Gbit/second cabled version of PCIe. It aims to deliver more bandwidth than the rival Thunderbolt interconnect backed by Apple and Intel at “orders of magnitude lower cost,” said Ramin Neshanti, marketing workgroup chair of the PCI SIG.
In addition, the group announced progress on its Gen 4.0 spec, expected to be the last turn of the crank for copper in pcb interconnects. It will support 16 GTransfers/second and be complete in early 2016.
The SIG also detailed a handful of enhancements to the 8GT/s Gen 3 spec and a new form factor for mobile devices called M.2 that aims to replace mini-PCIe cards.
The M-PCIe news took center stage at the event. It is expected to appear in apps processors, Wi-Fi combo devices, bridge chips and storage controllers. First SoCs using it could tape out early next year, said a Cadence product manager.
Cadence showed M-PCIe running at Gear 2 data rates up to 2.9 GHz.
I still think that for mobile devices multiplexing DisplayPort, or some video signal, in parallel with PCIe (as Thunderbolt does) makes more sense than PCIe only. With only PCIe, a GPU will be required at the monitor end.
PCI and the PCI SIG have again done outstanding work. PCI continues to innovate, Congrats... long ago (1990). I fondly remember debating 5V or 3.3V as the first spec. (PCI 1.0), We have come a long way and revolutionized a industry.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.