Electronic Design

PCI Express Chips Eye Embedded Applications

PLX Technology has released a pair of fiveport PCI Express switch chips designed for embedded applications. The PEX 8508 has eight PCI Express lanes, while the PEX 8518 features 18 lanes. These can be configured in a variety of combinations. For example, a typical PEX 8508 configuration would be an x4 connection to a host and four x1 PCI Express lanes. Outof-band configuration can be handled via I2C. All ports support hot-plugging and have a port-to-port latency of 150 ns. Nontransparent bridging permits peer-to-peer operation. A low-power operation mode also is supported. The PEX 8508 and 8518 consume 3 W and 3.5 W, respectively. The PEX 8508 costs $15, and the 8518 goes for $30. The PEX 8508 comes in a 19- by 19-mm, 296-ball PBGA package. www.plxtech.com

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