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Express Yourself
  • About

    This blog is all about PCI Express: the wonderful ways that it enhances the products around you, the challenges designers face in implementation, and how the specification is evolving to make PCIe Express an even more useful protocol. I'll also examine how the other specifications, such as NVM Express, SATA Express and SCSI-Over-PCI Express (SOP) are leveraging PCI Express. If there is a topic that is of interest to you, feel free to "Express Yourself" by offering your insights on this blog.
  • About the Author

    Scott Knowlton

    I started out my career as a chip designer in a variety of industries and it’s likely that a few, of the more than 30 designs I’ve been responsible for, are still floating around somewhere in outer space. My IP career started at Synopsys in 1997 and over the last 15 years, I have seen tremendous changes in the semiconductor industry’s perception and adoption of IP. I started working on PCI Express in 2003 when Synopsys was getting ready to launch our first PCI Express IP solution. Since then, I have been managing the DesignWare PCI Express IP product line through all of the changes in the specification and the industry as it moves towards becoming the de-facto interconnect standard. I received a B.S.E.E from the University of Michigan (M Go Blue!), am an avid red wine drinker (love California reds) and use English as a second language when my fluency in sarcasm just doesn’t get the job done.

    Richard Solomon

    I’ve been involved in the development of PCI chips dating back to the NCR 53C810 and pre-1.0 versions of the PCI spec so have definitely lived the evolution of PCI Express and PCI since the very beginning! Over the years I have worked on variations of PCI, eventually moving on to architecting and leading the development of the PCI Express and PCI-X interface cores used in LSI’s line of storage RAID controller chips. For the last ten plus years I've also had the honor of serving on the PCI-SIG Board of Directors and holding a variety of officer positions. I am still involved in PCI-SIG workgroups and I present at many PCI-SIG events around the world. Back before the dawn of PCI, I received my B.S.E.E. from Rice University, and hold over two dozen U.S. Patents, many of which relate to PCI technology.

Farewell 2013!

Posted by Richard Solomon on December 31st, 2013

So long 2013, you were a great year for PCI Express (and for me personally) but your 365 days of fame are winding down as I write this. You gave us lots of new PCI Express features – especially around low-power.  First you brought the L1 Substates ECN providing “traditional” PCIe PHYs with impressive power savings modes, and later on the M-PCIe ECN opening up the PCI Express infrastructure to MIPI M-PHYs in what Scott aptly described as A Match Made in Heaven.  Later you even had the much anticipated M.2 Specification to define a wide variety of PCIe mobile-oriented plug-in cards which enable some exciting new PC/Tablet form-factors

Yes, yes, 2013, we won’t forget that you weren’t only about mobile – you  also had the SRIS ECN which better enabled cabled environments to let us put PCI Express in our Disks.  You’ll also get to hold some sort of record for the longest delay before spec release by being the year in which CEM 3.0 was finally released – some 3 years after your great-grandfather 2010 birthed the PCI Express 3.0 Base Spec.  (Let me say with the utmost respect 2013, that I hope you hold that particular record forever!)

I’m sure you were tremendously proud, 2013, of being the year in which official PCI-SIG 3.0 Compliance Testing began - after all, how many other years get to ask “Got Compliance?“  We at Synopsys were particularly happy to share that event with you – being in the very first group of designs on the PCI-SIG Integrator’s List.  (Thank goodness we were spared a picture of Scott with a milk mustache there!)

2013, you were a great year for PCI Express education and training – hosting the second-ever PCI-SIG Developers Conference Israel, another record-setting attendance PCI-SIG Developers Conference in the US, and a PCI-SIG Developers Conference Asia-Pacific Tour 2013 with the first-ever Members Implementation track in Asia.  Even if I managed to complain about When Engineering Fails the Obviousness Test, that event was a smashing success.  I don’t know if it will be anywhere near as momentous as the others, but 2013 you also have the distinction of hosting my first ever webinar.

Continuing on that more personal note, 2013, you kicked me squarely in the complacency by offering an I-couldn’t-pass-it-up opportunity to move to Synopsys after almost 23 years at LSI.  Aside from providing payback material for years of jokes about a “two drink minimum”, you’ve given me an incredible new branch to my career.  The jury is still out 2013 on how the world will view you for giving me a new venue here to ExpressMyself - with apologies to Scott for taking liberties with the name (and for that matter the content) of “his” blog :)

Since I’ve known you for your entire life 2013, I feel I can be honest and point out that it hasn’t been all roses for us:
Black Forest fire near 8pm Tuesday
but rest assured that I won’t hold that against you, since I more than anyone recognize that the only constant is change.

Let me also offer a huge Thank You to all you readers of ExpressYourself for spending a portion of your 2013 here with Scott and me.  For those of you just joining us, consider clicking here to subscribe to this blog as a possible New Year’s resolution – or skip the rush tomorrow and just do it now! :)


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