PLX I/O Accelerator Upgrades Rapid-Technology's PMC I/O Expansion Module

10/7/2003 - PLX Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLXT), the leading supplier of standard I/O interconnect silicon to the communications, server, storage and embedded-control industries, and Rapid-Technology, a leader in engineering productivity tools, announced the companies' collaboration on Rapid-Technology's PMC I/O expansion module, providing high-performance PCI using the PLX® PCI 9656 I/O Accelerator chip. Rapid-Technology selected the PCI 9656 for its 64-bit, 66MHz operation, ease-of-design, flexible features, and extensive design support through PLX development tools.

"There were clear advantages to designing with the PLX device versus a FPGA PCI IP core in our application," said Brian Bell, president of Rapid-Technology. "Our products are intended to be configured by the end user to perform a function or algorithm they code for the FPGA. Forcing our customers to license a PCI IP core from another vendor would be a sales barrier for my company. Many customers do not want to deal with the up-front cost and licensing logistics associated with an IP core, and we do not want the added support complexity that would be associated with an IP core.

With the PCI 9656, our customers can tailor the module's flexible functionality to specific applications and take advantage of the PCI 9656's user-friendly interface."

"In the communications-design space, there are distinct times and places for FPGAs and for high-performance PCI controllers such as the PCI 9656," said Larry Chisvin, vice president of marketing at PLX. "[R-T1]It's a tribute to Rapid-Technology's commitment to its customer base that it recognized the importance selecting the most-appropriate interconnect solution for this design."

Rapid-Technology PMC I/O Expansion Module with the PLX PCI 9656
The PCI 9656 simplified the PMC expansion module upgrade on a number of levels. Because designers will be customizing the PMC module, they need the ability to quickly and easily recompile the FPGA source code, which the PCI 9656 allows them to do. The chip also enables in-system reconfiguration of the FPGA, which wouldn't otherwise be possible since an FPGA is not functional during configuration. Furthermore, the PLX 9656's user-friendly local bus makes the design process dramatically easier when compared to developing local-side logic that is inherently required with most PCI IP cores.

High-Performance Computing Platform Leverages 64-bit, 66MHz PCI
The Rapid-Technology PMC expansion module is a high-performance computing subsystem and I/O expansion board for embedded applications in a PMC form factor. Applications for the module include telecom, data processing, compute-intensive DSP co-processing, machine control and I/O interfacing for processor host boards. The PCI v2.2-compliant module supports 64-bit/66MHz down to 32-bit/33MHz master/target PCI interfacing and comes with the active and physical layer components for System-On-a-Programmable-Chip (SOPC) design.

The PCI 9656 is the most-advanced member of PLX's 64-bit PCI I/O Accelerator family, satisfying system designs' demands for maximum PCI bandwidth without incurring the expense or effort of implementing 64-bit peripherals on the local bus. The industry's first bus-mastering silicon to enable 64-bit, 66MHz PCI operation in adapters and embedded hosts that incorporate Motorola PowerQUICC® processors or generic 32-bit, 66MHz local bus designs, the PCI 9656 includes many significant functional enhancements that provide unmatched power, versatility, and time-to-market advantages to I/O-intensive communications, networking, imaging, and storage systems.

About PLX Technology
PLX Technology, Inc. (, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., USA, is the leading supplier of standard I/O interconnect silicon to the communications, server, storage and embedded-control industries. The PLX solution provides a competitive edge to our customers through an integrated combination of high-performance silicon, hardware and software design tools, and partnerships. These innovative solutions enable our customers to develop equipment with industry-leading performance, scalability and reliability. Furthermore, the combination of PLX product features and supporting infrastructure allow customers to bring their designs to market faster. PLX PCI-based devices are designed into a wide variety of applications across multiple industries.

About Rapid-Technology
Rapid-Technology specializes in engineering productivity tools. Rapid-Technology's initial product focus is development boards and kits for the programmable logic market. These tools enable engineers to quickly and inexpensively evaluate CPLD and FPGA devices.

PLX is a trademark of PLX Technology, Inc., which may be registered in some jurisdictions.

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