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Toshiba Develops New Bridge Chip Using PAM 4 to Boost SSD Speed and Capacity

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced the development of a bridge chip that realizes high-speed and large-capacity SSDs. Using developed bridge chips with a small occupied area and low-power consumption, the company has succeeded in connecting more flash memory chips with fewer high-speed signal lines than with the conventional method of no bridge chips. This result was announced in San Francisco on February 20, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2019 (ISSCC 2019).

In SSDs, multiple flash memory chips are connected to a controller that manages their operation. As more flash memory chips are connected to a controller interface, operating speed degrades, so there are limits to the number of chips that can be connected. In order to increase capacity, it is necessary to increase the number of interfaces, but that results in an enormous number of high-speed signal lines connected to the controller, making it more difficult to implement the wiring on the SSD board.

ASUS Intros WS Z390 Pro Motherboard with Dual x16 PCIe Bridge Chip

ASUS expanded its Workstation motherboard series with the new WS Z390 Pro, a socket LGA1151 board based on Intel Z390 Express chipset, featuring out-of-the-box support for 9th generation Core processors. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of one 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 10-phase VRM (likely 8+2 phase incorporating smart-doubling on the Vcore side). This board appears to be using a PCI-Express 3.0 x48 bridge chip to convert 16 gen 3.0 lanes from the CPU to two x16 downstream slots, which are further split to four x8 slots, depending on how you populate the slots. The slot configuration options are x16/x16/NC/NC or x16/x8/x8/NC or x8/x8/x8/x8. An additional open-ended x4 slot wired to the PCH makes for the rest of the expansion.

Storage connectivity includes two each of M.2-22110, and U.2 ports, each with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking interfaces include two 1 GbE ports, one of which is driven by Intel i219-LM, and the other Intel i210-AT. USB connectivity includes six USB 3.1 gen 2 ports on the rear panel, from which one is type-C, two additional USB 3.1 gen 2 ports by header, and a USB 3.1 gen 1 2-port header. The 8-channel onboard audio solution combines an EMI-shielded Realtek ALC S1220A codec with audio-grade capacitors, a headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation. We expect a price of around $350 for this board.

Supermicro Unveils First LGA1151 Motherboard with PCIe Bridge Chip

Supermicro launched the first socket LGA1151 motherboard featuring a PCIe bridge chip that expands the board's lane budget, something that not even the $600 ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme features. The new CZ170-OCE from the traditionally server/workstation motherboard maker is based on Intel Z170 Express chipset, and features a PCI-Express gen 3.0 x48 bridge chip (likely the PLX PEX-8747), which takes the PCI-Express 3.0 x16 PEG port from the CPU, and puts out 32 lanes, which are wired to the board's three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots.

The topmost slot runs at x16 full-time, while the middle and bottom slots are x8/x8 when both are populated (x16/NC/x16 or x16/x8/x8). The designers lavishly spent its remaining lane budget on two PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slots, and a 32 Gb/s M.2-22110 slot. Besides the 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Other modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (one each of type-A and type-C), two gigabit Ethernet connections (one driven by Intel I219V and another by Intel I210-AT), HD audio, and four other USB 3.0 ports.
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Jun 30th, 2022 18:15 EDT change timezone

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