Monday, September 23rd 2013

PLX Showcases External Box-to-Box PCI Express Connectivity Over Optical Cabling

PLX Technology, Inc., the global leader in PCI Express (PCIe) silicon and software connectivity solutions enabling emerging data center architectures, and FCI, a leading manufacturer of connectors and interconnect systems, today announced collaboration on a live demonstration of PCIe over optical cabling at the 39th European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) event, held from 23-25 September in London, U.K.

PLX and FCI are demonstrating the use of FCI's new mini-SAS high-density (MSHD) active optical cable (AOC) to provide 32Gbps (PCIe Gen3, x4) optical connectivity in a small-form-factor solution. The demonstration highlights how a PLX PCIe switch card connects to a PLX five-bay PCIe expansion card through the use of a standard MSHD connector and FCI's new MSHD AOC. The expansion card allows any devices connected (such as PCIe adaptors, solid-state drives and NIC cards) to interact with the main motherboard/server as if it were a device installed inside the chassis. The demonstration platform can be used by those interested in developing system solutions for PCIe over non-standard PCIe cabling.

The demonstration featuring FCI MSHD cables and PLX PCIe switch technology will also give engineers an opportunity to see the performance benefits that can be realized in high-performance computing, communications and networking applications. FCI's new MSHD AOC is the next-generation SAS-based storage I/O system that allows for the signal transmission of both SAS 2.1 (6Gb/s per channel) and the proposed SAS 3.0 (12Gb/s per channel) industry standard protocols. This increases linear board density while doubling the maximum per-port aggregate bandwidth. These attributes enable accelerated access and transfer of data within systems.

"We have seen a significant number of customers coming to PLX and asking for high-density, high-performance, low-cost connectivity solutions to expand PCI Express outside the box," said Reginald Conley, vice president, applications engineering, PLX. "To be effective and meet the needs of a wide range of PCI Express users, these solutions must possess what we call the 'triple threat' connectivity option -- copper, optical and AOC. In doing so, the widest range of performance and cost metrics can be met, and Mini-SAS HD has the potential to be one such solution."

"We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with PLX and explore how we can deliver unprecedented power, range and versatility in computing communications and networking applications," said Jim David, portfolio director for FCI's High Speed IO product lines. "This demonstration is an excellent platform for the community to understand how FCI's MSHD AOC solutions can support its latest designs and optimize data transfer speed and signal integrity within their system."
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3 Comments on PLX Showcases External Box-to-Box PCI Express Connectivity Over Optical Cabling

this is what we need for prebuilt PC's and laptops, for external GPU's....
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It would be great but GUS II with Thunderbolt was cancelled due to little interest. This seems to be aimed rather at enterprise or productivity solutions. It dosnt say anywhere its meant for consumers. That 'low-cost connectivity solutions' probably is lower cost than Thunderbolt but to high for avarage home user.
Would like to hear more if it started 'modular' PCs.
Posted on Reply
huguberhart said:
Would like to hear more if it started 'modular' PCs.
true. it would be interesting to enter public transport, such as a train, with a tablet and connect it to a high performance graphics solution somewhere under your seat..
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