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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 23, 2011

PLX, Avago Demo PCI Express Delivering a Cabled Box-To-Box Solution Using Optics

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor

PLX and Avago Technologies, a supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced a collaboration using optics to demonstrate PCI (News - Alert) Express or PCIe for delivering a cabled box-to-box solution.

Reggie Conley, senior director of hardware applications atPLX, said in a release, “With PCI Express now native virtually everywhere, including Intel (News - Alert) platforms and SSD storage modules, the market is hungry for reliable and harmonious solutions.”

Sunnyvale-based PLX Technology is a provider of semiconductor-based connectivity solutions that suit the needs of enterprise and consumer markets.

“As the market drives down the cost of optical solutions, today’s cumbersome and costly conversion of PCI Express to Ethernet or InfiniBand will be replaced by clean system architectures enjoying the fruits of PCIe and optical connectivity’s premium performance,” Conley added.

Avago and PLX have come together to conduct the demonstration of this combined solution, which features  PLX(R) PEX8748 PCIe Gen3 (8Gbps per lane) switches, along with Avago high-density MiniPOD parallel fiber optic modules. These are set up in an x8 configuration, enabling external box-to-box high-performance connectivity at 64Gbps.

 According to officials, this new solution will be more advanced than the box solution, as this optimized alternative will enable next-generation data center applications. It will ensure lower latency, extension of cabling distances, and I/O conversion minimization for the creation of simpler architectures for cleaner PCIe end-to-end environments.

It was revealed that PCI Express is employed as an interconnect for data centers using parallel optics which will enable various applications including storage, servers and GPU clustering.

Victor Krutul, director of marketing for fiber optic products at Avago, stated, “PCI Express is a natural fit for our MiniPOD embedded parallel optics, which delivers the speed and overall performance necessary to enable box-to-box connections.”

Recently Avago Technologies announced that its newly released ACML-74x0 family of multi-channel high-speed digital isolators can offer low power consumption at high speed data rates for test and measurement equipment and medical imaging applications.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.