Rick Merritt, EETimes
6/26/2013 8:00 AM EDT
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The spec is done for a mobile interconnect that will pack PCI Express into smartphones and tablets. Cadence and Synopsys showed working silicon for the M-PCIe interface at the annual meeting of the PCI Special Interest Group here.
The spec lets PCIe protocols ride the M-PHY defined by the MIPI trade group and already widely used in mobile devices. OEMs will adopt the interface to lower costs and shrink development times by reusing PCIe software to replace a wide variety of mobile interconnect protocols.
Separately, the PCI SIG expects to finish work before June 2014 on OcuLink, a 32 Gbit/second cabled version of PCIe. It aims to deliver more bandwidth than the rival Thunderbolt interconnect backed by Apple and Intel at “orders of magnitude lower cost,” said Ramin Neshanti, marketing workgroup chair of the PCI SIG.
In addition, the group announced progress on its Gen 4.0 spec, expected to be the last turn of the crank for copper in pcb interconnects. It will support 16 GTransfers/second and be complete in early 2016.
The SIG also detailed a handful of enhancements to the 8GT/s Gen 3 spec and a new form factor for mobile devices called M.2 that aims to replace mini-PCIe cards.
The M-PCIe news took center stage at the event. It is expected to appear in apps processors, Wi-Fi combo devices, bridge chips and storage controllers. First SoCs using it could tape out early next year, said a Cadence product manager.
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