EE Product News

PCI Express Switches Take On Temperature Sensing

The latest additions to a family of PCI Express Gen2 switching devices have been enhanced to address system-level thermal management issues in enterprise applications leveraging high-performance networking and storage controllers, including 10-Gbit Ethernet and 8-Gbit Fibre Channel devices. Based on proprietary low-power design techniques, the devices are claimed as the first PCI Express interconnect devices to integrate a temperature sensor. As such, the devices are able to gather critical system-level thermal data necessary to enable optimized power management, load balancing and mitigation of potential thermal-related faults and outages. The three new devices include a 10-lane, four-port switch; a 12-lane, three-port switch; and a 16-lane, four-port switch. All provide PCI Express Gen2 connectivity and integrate power saving and thermal management features. Employing key power-management extensions to the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) PCI Express Base 2.0, the switches decrease the need for, or eliminate, thermal management devices and airflow requirements reducing overall system cost and improving time to market through reduced thermal engineering cycles. Further, the integration of temperature sensing functionality enables the devices to provide localized thermal feedback for global system management. Applications of the temperature sensor allow for monitoring of the thermal conditions of the switch to provide feedback on the relative health or loading of the connected system elements, enabling intervention to shift traffic patterns for better system resource utilization and to avert any potential thermally induced failures. Additionally, the inclusion of temperature-sensor technology offers key system development and debug functionality. The devices are currently sampling and have a dedicated evaluation and development kit for device testing and analysis, and system emulation. Each kit consists of a hardware evaluation board with representative upstream and downstream connectivity, and a GUI-based software environment that enables designers to tune system and device configurations to meet system requirements. INTEGRATED DEVICE TECHNOLOGY INC., San Jose, CA. (408) 284-8200.


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