PLX Technology's latest batch of PCI Express (PCIe) switch chips adds a host of new features, such as dual-cast support in addition to 5-Gbit/s transfer rates. The collection includes the PEX 8648 (48 lanes, 12 ports), PEX 8632 (32 lanes, 12 ports), PEX 8624 (24 lanes, six ports), PEX 8616 (16 lanes, four ports), and PEX 8612 (12 lanes, three ports). Each chip supports PLX's read pacing algorithm to ensure fair sharing of bandwidth. The chips also provide new power-management support and the ability to turn off idle blocks. The maximum payload size has been increased. And, there is now data path parity and error cyclic-redundancy check (ECRC) on egress for applications like RAID controllers. The switches are available in compact flip-chip packages.
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