Reginald Conley, PLX Technology
EETimes (10/25/2010 1:38 AM EDT)
The highly anticipated launch 8 Gbps, PCI Express 3.0 (PCIe Gen3) is making its debut, doubling the effective bandwidth and generating the same ubiquity and economies of scale as previous generations of PCIe.
With this introduction, PCIe takes its place among the high-performance protocol superpowers – efficiently maximizing gigabits per dollar, port usage and power consumption. But how many gigabits per second is enough? Can copper sustain another bit-rate doubling or have we reached the end of copper links as we know them?
This article will cover the benefits of PCIe Gen3 as an optical interconnect. Along the way, we’ll look at the copper dilemma, optical fibers and pertinent advances in optical technology, such as LightPeak, and its cost/power tradeoffs, and where designers need to focus their attention.
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