TI Debuts x1 PCI Express-to-PCI Bridge and PCI Express 1394a Samples

9/9/2004 - Continuing its commitment to PCI ExpressTM development, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced the first x1 PCI Express-to-PCI Bridge and PCI Express 1394a integrated circuit (IC) samples. The PCI Express 1394a IC enables one of the industry´s first ExpressCardTM module that is based on PCI Express instead of legacy I/O. The new PCI Express devices, which TI will demonstrate at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) (Sep. 7-9, 2004), helps desktop and notebook PC designers build easily adaptable, user-friendly products for their customers.

TI´s Demonstration at IDF
TI will demonstrate a split-chassis PC enabled by the PCI Express-to-PCI Bridge as well as 1394a based ExpressCards that interface to a PCI Express Bus. Additionally, TI´s PCI Express experts will discuss the design possibilities that these devices enable at 12:45 pm on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 at the PCI Express Presentation Theater.

PCI Express-to-PCI Bridge
TI´s new XIO2000 IC bridges an x1 PCI Express Bus to a 32-bit, 33 MHz/66MHz PCI Bus capable of supporting up to six PCI devices downstream. The device supports full PCI Express rates of 2.5Gbps. The PCI Express Bridge will aid add-in card manufacturers, desktop and notebook PC designers in developing equipment that includes a high speed serial bus with improved performance and quality of service while meeting the ergonomic needs of today´s user.

"TI is excited to offer working PCI Express-to-PCI Bridge silicon to our customers to meet the performance and ergonomic needs of the end user," said Julie Holland, business manager for TI's connectivity solutions group. "At full PCI Express rates, users will not only enjoy friendly form factors, but will be able to maintain high levels of performance."

This XIO2000 allows OEMs to design a split-chassis system that meets a user's ergonomic needs without compromising performance. This will provide customers with PC form factors that are more user-friendly, placing I/Os that the user interacts with on a regular basis on the desktop while the system chassis is hidden from view. This concept also allows OEMs to upgrade and differentiate platforms more effectively without modifying the main system board, helping to minimize desktop clutter.

Additionally, add-in card manufacturers are able to upgrade boards to PCI Express without having to re-spin silicon and notebook manufacturers can enable high performance and expandable PCI Express docking stations. Using PCI Express technology, manufacturers can save cost with the smaller connector that is used on the docking station and with the simplified board routing in the notebook, which removes the requirement of routing PCI to the docking station. All this while improving performance that enables greater bandwidth for I/Os in docking stations.

1394a ExpressCards
TI´s XIO2200 PCI Express 1394a device is a two port open host controller interface (OHCI) 1394a integrated link/physical layer device that interfaces to the PCI Express Bus. By replacing PCI Bus with PCI Express the device greatly eases the layout of a motherboard and can reduce cost. Additionally, using the device in ExpressCard technology development allows designers to easily add 1394a support to PC and notebook computers through the ExpressCard slot, further increasing end user capabilities such as digital video editing from a digital camcorder.

"1394a has extremely high adoption in the digital camcorder market," said Holland. "As technology gains a greater foothold in the overall consumer electronics market, users will have the ability to connect their peripheral devices to their PC or notebook with a simple addition of an ExpressCard."

"Today's notebook buyers continue to demand high performance, but are increasingly looking for smaller, thinner, lighter notebook designs. PCI Express technology helps deliver the performance users demand for high bandwidth applications, while the smaller form factor of ExpressCard modules allows notebook makers to design sleeker notebooks," said Mike Trainor, Chief Mobile Technology Evangelist, Intel Corporation.

Availability and Pricing
Both the XIO2000 and XIO2200 are sampling now with volume production scheduled for first half 2005.

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