8/16/2002 - As storage-system makers begin to adopt alternative interconnect technologies, switched-PCI is providing them a means of expanding and improving the overall performance of their systems, according to data from PLX Technology, storage system makers, and industry analysts. A growing number of storage systems are implementing architectures that provide higher data speeds, data availability and system scalability.
Faced with Limited Capacity of Existing Buses
Storage attached network (SAN) and networked attached storage (NAS) system makers are faced with an array of storage challenges: limited capacity of existing data buses used on those systems, bottlenecks between computers and storage resources, and multiple resources sharing data. Switched-PCI — a technology that expands existing PCI systems into broader, faster and more reliable systems — is providing storage-system makers a practical solution to meet those challenges.
The PLX® GigaBridge® Switched-PCI architecture is enabling storage-system makers to break the I/O bottleneck between computers/servers and storage resources. A single GigaBridge controller provides a simple replacement for a PCI-to-PCI bridge, while multiple controllers create a multi-link PCI network through which stored data can be transferred quickly. By expanding the capacity of the PCI bus, a storage system realizes faster speeds — up to 50Gbps aggregate -- as well as high availability and system scalability.
"Storage-system makers are looking constantly for ways to improve their product offerings, and therefore are receptive to adopting new technologies that will improve the solutions they provide the information-technology industry," said Paul Zorfass, senior analyst at International Data Corp./FTI (Framingham, Mass.). "By implementing a switched-PCI architecture such as GigaBridge, system makers are able to build high performance, scalability and availability into the feature mix."
Switched PCI Extends Systems, Aggregates Bandwidth up to 50gbs
The PLX GigaBridge Switched PCI architecture enables PCI-based telecommunications, data communications and embedded systems to incorporate up to 224 PCI bus segments, aggregate tens of gigabits per second, and connect two adjacent PCI devices up to 15 feet away, via a high-performance link. A cell-based architecture with independent PCI bus segments connected to each port, each GigaBridge switched PCI controller can drive up to four PCI slots and interoperates with other GigaBridge controllers as ports on the Switched-PCI systems. Each GigaBridge controller is linked via two 16-bit-wide, point-to-point, low-voltage-differential links clocked at 400MHz. This results in an aggregate bandwidth of more than 50 gigabits per second.
About PLX Technology (www.plxtech.com)
PLX Technology Inc., based in Sunnyvale, Calif., USA, is the leading supplier of high-speed silicon and software solutions for the networking and communications industries. The PLX solution includes industry-standard silicon, software for managing data throughout the PCI bus, rapid development tools that minimize design risk, and third-party development tool support through the PLX Partner Program. The PLX solution enables hardware designers and software developers to maximize system input/output (I/O), lower development costs, minimize system design risk and provide faster time to market. PLX PCI I/O Accelerator chips and switched-PCI devices are designed into a wide variety of embedded PCI communication systems, including switches, routers, line cards, media gateways, base stations, access multiplexors and remote access concentrators. PLX customers include many of the leading communications equipment companies, including 3Com, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Marconi, Nortel Networks and Siemens.
PLX and GigaBridge are trademarks of PLX Technology, Inc., which may be registered in some jurisdictions.
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