PLX Technology Inc. has started to sample two new PCI Express 3.0 (PCIe Gen3) switches aimed at emerging applications, including solid-state disks (SSDs), high-end workstations and enthusiast gamer desktop computers.
The PLX ExpressLane PEX8713 (12 lanes, 10 ports) and PEX8717 (16 lanes, 10 ports) PCIe Gen3 switches are capable of moving 8Gbps of data per lane, in both directions (Tx/Rx), enabling designers using their x2 native architecture to optimize connectivity with bandwidth-intensive endpoints such as Thunderbolt, SAS/SATA and USB 3.0.
Today's processor south bridges offer x1 or x4 PCIe lanes, where x1 often does not provide enough bandwidth and x4's sheer size could waste valuable PCIe lanes, according to PLX. The introduction of a native PCIe x2 interface, therefore, allows for optimal- or matching-bandwidth needed for new SATA, USB and SSD endpoints, the company said.
Pricing: Volume pricing is around $20.00 to $25.00.
Availability: The new PLX ExpressLane PEX8713 and PEX8717 PCIe Gen3 switches are available today with production scheduled for Q4’11.
Datasheets: PEX8713 and PEX8717