Six New Devices Double Performance, Lower Power and Cost for Emerging Data Centers
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – November 15, 2010 -- PLX Technology (NASDAQ: PLXT), a leading global supplier of software-enriched silicon connectivity solutions for the enterprise and consumer markets, today announced it is now sampling the industry’s first PCI Express® 3.0 (PCIe® Gen 3) switches, thus expanding on its well-established market dominance with new products for performance-starved cloud and data center applications. Each of the six new Gen 3 switches is designed to upgrade today’s widely deployed PCIe-based systems, including computing and communications platforms.
The new innovative PLX® ExpressLane™ PCIe Gen 3 switch family, designed on 40nm process node, includes broad lane counts ranging from 12 up to 48 lanes. Board and system designers can take full advantage of the latest PCIe specification – 8 Gbps in both directions (Tx/Rx), per lane – thus enabling one PLX 48-lane Gen 3 switch to handle an astounding 96GBps of full peer-to-peer bandwidth. PLX’s Gen 3 switches also offer hot-plug controllers and a non-transparent (NT) port feature, which enables the implementation of multi-host systems in communications, storage, and blade server applications.
With an extensive array of performance, efficiency and versatile features, board and system designers can use these industry-first Gen 3 switches to develop a wide variety of PCIe-based applications ranging from chip-to-chip interconnection inside the box to box-to-box backplanes and cabled clusters. Leading global manufacturers intend to use these switches in enterprise server and storage systems, including SSDs to support cloud computing and IO virtualization needs. In communication applications, designers will use the PCIe 3.0 switches to connect multi-channel 10GE NICs, CNAs, IB adapters and Fibre Channel HBAs to the host.
PLX’s new Gen 3 switch family is comprised of:
- PEX8712: 12 lanes, 3 ports
- PEX8716: 16 lane, 4 ports
- PEX8724: 24 lane, 6 ports
- PEX8732: 32 lane, 12 ports
- PEX8747: 48 lane, 5 ports
- PEX8748: 48 lane, 12 ports
PLX PCIe Gen 3 switches include exclusive software-driven on-chip hardware debug and monitoring features, such as measurement of the SerDes eye inside the device, PCIe packet generation to saturate x16 Gen 3 port, injection of error in live traffic, error logging and port utilization count. Additionally, the switches provide PCIe and traffic monitoring for easy bring-up of PCIe systems that would otherwise require days of lab set-up and hundreds of thousands of dollars in test and measurement equipment. Furthermore, PLX offers designers a software development kit that simplifies design-in of the switch and its value-added features.
Earlier this year, PLX became the industry’s first supplier to demonstrate PCIe Gen 3 silicon with key partners, and then followed up more recently with an innovative demonstration of Gen 3 over optical cabling during the Intel Developers Conference (Fall 2010). Commanding more than 65 percent share of the PCIe switch market, PLX presently is shipping over one million PCIe units per quarter from its industry-leading ExpressLane family, which today are widely installed across global data centers and within numerous businesses IT server/storage rooms.
“Having demonstrated our PCI Express Gen 3 switching technology well before any other silicon vendor, PLX already has garnered tremendous interest from our worldwide partners and the design activity among them is very strong,” said David Raun, PLX vice president of marketing and business development. “We expect our aggressive head-start will help expedite the development and availability of those partners’ systems, and profoundly enhance the capabilities of PCI Express altogether.”
“Since its inception, PCI Express has provided the connectivity for a broad array of computing, networking and consumer designs, and in doing so has delivered the speed and versatility not found in more narrowly focused interconnect technologies,” said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst at the Linley Group and co-author of the industry report A Guide to High-Speed Interconnects. “Now, with next-generation PCI Express devices such as these new Gen 3 switches from PLX Technology, we envision the industry expanding those capabilities further and satisfying the demands of ever-more-powerful data centers and other I0-intensive environments.”
“PCIe technology has established itself as the most powerful and versatile interconnect today, serving the widest range of markets – from consumer products to high-performance enterprise systems – since its introduction nearly a decade ago,” said Al Yanes, president and chairman of the PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the PCIe specification. “The introduction of products using PCIe 3.0 technology, such as PLX’s new switches, is a welcomed affirmation that PCIe continues to evolve and meet the needs of high-performance systems makers.”
The PLX ExpressLane PCIe Gen 3 switches are available in 19x19mm (PEX8712, PEX8716 and PEX8724) or 27x27mm (PEX8732, PEX8747 and PEX8748) packaging. Volume pricing ranges from $30.00 to $95.00. The devices are sampling today with key customers and production is slated for mid-2011. PLX Gen 3 switches are fully backwards compatible to PCIe Gen 2 and Gen 1 and are recommended for all new designs.
About PLX Technology
PLX Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLXT), based in Sunnyvale, Calif., USA, is an industry-leading global provider of semiconductor-based connectivity solutions primarily targeting the enterprise and consumer markets. The Company develops innovative software-enriched silicon that enables product differentiation, reliable interoperability and superior performance. www.plxtech.com.