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October 11, 2009

PLX expands PCIe switch portfolio for communications market

New switches designed with 24 ports and come with diagnostic and monitoring features

By CBR Staff Writer

PLX Technology, a supplier of PCI Express (PCIe) switch, has launched two new PCIe Gen 2 switches designed with 24 ports, to meet the connectivity demands of complex communications systems.

The company said that the new PEX 8625 (24 lanes, 24 ports) and PEX 8636 (36 lanes, 24 ports) switches are supported by visionPAK, software suite of system debug tools. These switches are designed for the control plane to allow connectivity to large number of endpoints such as ASICs and FPGAs.

According to company, the new switches feature the ability to multicast that increases the efficiency in communications platforms as it allows each host to communicate to all endpoints at the same time. The multi-host feature allow multiple upstream ports to connect to several CPUs, thereby reducing the number of system components and minimising latency.

Reportedly, PLX providing the NT feature in its Gen 2 switches has added a set of diagnostic and monitoring features, called visionPAK that allows to access internal data paths and state machines for debugging systems; a tool to measure Rx eye width inside the device for validating signal integrity; a function to inject errors to check system behaviour; loopback Tx to debug data paths, and the capability for packet performance/activity monitoring.

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David Raun, vice president of marketing and business development at PLX, said: “PLX customers are on the cutting edge of product development, and we therefore design solutions tailored to specific markets such as communications.

With our unique ability to differentiate on both silicon and software for those customers, along with our broad selection of PCI Express Gen 2 solutions shipping today — and with Gen 3 close on the horizon — PLX is well positioned to continue to increase its leading market share.”

The PEX 8625 and PEX 8636 volume prices are $58.03, and $73.72, respectively.

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