Sunnyvale, Calif. A new PCI Express (PCIe) switch has been designed with 24 flexible lanes that can be assigned to six configurable ports for use in high-performance systems ranging from high-speed I/O boards to complex switch-fabric systems.
The PEX8524 features non-transparency and the highest number of ports for a switch of its lane count, according to PLX Technology Inc., the product's supplier. One of the six ports could be programmed as a non-transparent bridge to allow the addition of a second CPU or an intelligent I/O module.
Any port can be configured as either upstream or downstream through hardware strapping, software configuration or an EEPROM.
The device provides hot-plug capability on every port, large internal packet memory, non-blocking switch fabric, programmable outputs, and multiple configuration options.
In server applications, the PEX8524 performs fan-out of a wide port from the north-bridge in x86-based systems to a larger number of narrower ports. It can also be connected directly to the PCIe port of a RISC-based processor for PCIe fan-out. And it can be used in communications and storage applications for high-speed port aggregation, such as Gigabit Ethernet or Fibre Channel.
The PEX8524 switch is sampling now and priced at less than $40 each in volume quantities.
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PLX Technology Inc., 1-800-759-3735, www.plxtech.com