Thursday, February 8th 2007

PCI Express External Cabling Specification Completed

PCI-SIG, the Special Interest Group responsible for PCI Express industry-standard I/O technology, today announced the availability of the PCI Express External Cabling 1.0 specification, which extends the PCI Express (PCIe) interconnect architecture “outside the box.” Cables using the PCIe technology will be used for external applications, as well as applications internal to an enclosure that need a cable connection. The PCIe External Cabling specification provides guidelines for a practical cable length, but does not currently set a maximum cable distance.

The new specification creates new opportunities for the application of the PCIe architecture to innovative platform topologies, allowing developers to leverage the existing and broad PCIe ecosystem.

The PCI Express External Cabling specification establishes a standard method of using PCIe technology over a cable by defining cable connectors, copper cabling attributes and electrical characteristics, connector retention, identification and labeling. It conforms to the PCIe 1.1 Base and electro-mechanical specifications, enabling high data rates between PCIe subsystems. Standard cables and connectors have been defined for x1, x4, x8, and x16 link widths. Sideband signaling is provided via the cable to attain compatibility with existing silicon and software; this leverages existing software and infrastructure, provides ease-of-use and helps accelerate adoption of the technology.


“This specification helps the industry create new products that will take PCIe technology out of the box – enabling PCIe solutions for IO expansion drawers, external graphics processors, tethered mobile docking, communications equipment and embedded applications,” said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG chairman and president. “With the large market PCI Express has achieved since its introduction in 2002, this is a great opportunity for OEMs to take products to new levels with PCIe technology.”

The new cabling specification currently supports signaling rates of 2.5GT/s. In the future, PCI-SIG expects to continue to advance the cabling technology by providing new enhancements and foresees support for 5.0GT/s signaling rates.

The PCIe Cabling specification is available for download at http://www.pcisig.com/specifications/pciexpress/pcie_cabling1.0/.Source: PCI-SIG
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9 Comments on PCI Express External Cabling Specification Completed

#1
EviLZeD
this would be great for laptops
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#2
unsmart
This would be good for a graphics card box, if the lags not to bad. It looks like where all going to have a few cards in our systems now and it would be nice to put a couple in a external enclosure you could shut off when not using it, plus reduce heat and power use in the case. I wonder if AMD is going to put out something like this for there hyper link port thing?
Posted on Reply
#3
Steevo
by: unsmart
This would be good for a graphics card box, if the lags not to bad. It looks like where all going to have a few cards in our systems now and it would be nice to put a couple in a external enclosure you could shut off when not using it, plus reduce heat and power use in the case. I wonder if AMD is going to put out something like this for there hyper link port thing?
There isn't anything on the market that actually uses the full bandwidth. The closest perhaps being a shared set of lanes with Crossfire or SLI.





But imagine a network of PC's built with the full bandwidth of PCI Express. Or connecting to remote massive parallel box. The ability to compute with a sun box or IBM box on the fly.
Posted on Reply
#4
Wile E
Power User
My first thought was that these double slot gfx coolers would no longer render your expansion slots useless. This could present limitless possibilities, if executed properly. If the latencies aren't too terrible, you could also just remove the gfx cards from the case, eliminating a huge source of heat. Higher clocks, here we come. lol I also like Steevo's idea of using it for parallel computing. Throwing together a couple of budget dual core machines would give you the number crunching ability of some much more expensive rigs.
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#5
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Looks like the external dongle for Xfire wanst such a bad idea huh fellas?
Posted on Reply
#6
XooM
by: Steevo
There isn't anything on the market that actually uses the full bandwidth. The closest perhaps being a shared set of lanes with Crossfire or SLI.





But imagine a network of PC's built with the full bandwidth of PCI Express. Or connecting to remote massive parallel box. The ability to compute with a sun box or IBM box on the fly.
eh... actually, the reason for the whole SLI bridge/Crossfire dongles (or internal bridge) was because there wasn't enough bandwidth guaranteed available over the PEG slot for the two cards to exchange data over. the SLI connector is, IIRC, pretty much just a dedicated PCI-E x1 lane.
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#7
tkpenalty
About time.. I should have patented this T_T.
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#8
Steevo
Most SLI and or crossfire are two 8X slots. And that still provides more than enough bandwidth.


http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=212


They do it as it is easier for them to interface two of their own cards than to force other manufacturers to comply.
Posted on Reply
#9
XooM
then why are lower-end cards SLIed or Crossfired over the PCI-E lanes?

Also, the PCI-E x16 is very saturatable, its just that games and 3dmark don't do it. MentalRay or similar, on the other hand, do.
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