Sunnyvale, Calif.PLX Technology Inc. has expanded its ExpressLane PCI Express (PCIe) chip portfolio with the PEX 8518, a five port, 16-lane switching device that is housed in a 23-mm x 23-mm, 324-pin PBGA package.
The ExpressLane PEX 8518 device adds scalable high bandwidth, non-blocking interconnection to a wide variety of applications including servers, storage systems, communications platforms, blade servers, and embedded-control products. The PEX 8518 switch can be used as fan-out, aggregation, and is also well-suited to intelligent I/O module applications.
The PEX 8518, which is fully compliant with Revision of the 1.1 PCIe base specification, is optimized for low packet latency of less than 150-ns to move data more efficiently between disk arrays and system memory.
The ExpressLane PEX 8518 offers five highly configurable ports that can be configured to any legal width from x1 to x8, and in any combination to support a specific bandwidth need. The switch’s flexible ports allow users to match each port to an end-point’s bandwidth requirement, such as assigning a x2 PCIe port with a 3-Gbits/s serial attached SCSI interface.
The ports can be symmetric (each port having the same lane width) or asymmetric (ports having different lane widths). Any port can be designated as the upstream port, and one can even dynamically change the upstream port.
Quality of service (QoS) is provided through the switch's two virtual channels per port. The virtual channels enable a particular traffic class to receive priority in available bandwidth. The device's I2C bus provides an out-of-band interface, which helps ease configuration of the switch in systems such as AdvancedTCA chassis and routers.
The device is supported by the PLX Rapid development kit, PLX PEX 8518RDK, which includes a working hardware platform incorporating the PEX 8518 chip, a complete set of board schematics, symbols, and layout files for hardware design.
It also features a software development kit that includes a graphical utility for access to chip registers, sample drivers and a support library for Windows OS and Linux OS.
The PEX 8518 is scheduled to sample in January 2006 with production expected early next year. It will be priced for less than $30 each in volume quantities.
The PLX PEX 8518RDK kit will also be available in January 2006 for $900.
For more information, click here: www.plxtech.com/products/pci_express/PEX8518/default.asp.
PLX Technology Inc., 1-408-774-9060, www.plxtech.com.