Choosing PCI Express Packet Payload Size

In evaluating system interconnects, much is made of protocol efficiency the ratio of payload to header and other overhead symbols on the wire. In PCI Express (PCIe), the maximum payload is a system wide constant set to the least common denominator of device support in the system. Designers choose the value of maximum payload to support based upon cost/performance tradeoffs, the needs of their application, and their expectation of market needs. The protocol engine then automatically segments longer transfers into packets equal to or smaller than the maximum supported in the path of the packet. This white paper gives guidelines to device designers based upon consideration of protocol efficiency and market requirements.

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