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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.

Catching up – PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2014

Posted by Richard Solomon on June 30th, 2014

Wow, the last weeks have been just crazy crazy!  Luckily Scott’s been on top of the blog for the last month or so, or you might have thought we’d dropped off the face of the earth.  Actually, May was very hectic for me – I don’t think I had more than 36 hours straight at home for the last few weeks of the month.  Scott and I visited some customers out in Texas, then there was the semi-annual Synopsys FAE training, and finally (lo-and-behold) I took an actual vacation!  Squeezing in a week in Europe between FAE training and Devcon seemed like a good idea when I scheduled it, but Murphy’s Law came into play on my return.  My 12-hour layover at home turned into arriving the next morning, changing suitcases and catching a late afternoon flight 4hrs after I arrived!  All for you dear readers, all so I could make it to the Developers Conference.


Yes, actually those ARE purple PCI-SIG M&Ms… This year we (and by “we” I actually mean “Ruth”) wanted to do something a bit different for the speaker gifts, so in addition to fame, fortune, and seeing your name in genuine electrons, all the speakers at the PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2014 got a collector’s edition bag of purple PCI-SIG M&Ms!  (Take that, IDF!)  I actually quite liked the sentiment and felt it was appropriate for you blog readers, so I snapped the picture above.  (Sorry, no I won’t be sending you M&Ms because I ate them all.  Well, I shared them with my family and WE ate them all.  I’ll make you a deal though, leave a legitimate and insightful comment and I’ll put together a care package for the first qualifying* respondent.)

 Turn out was again record-setting for the second year in a row!  (We beat last year by something like 5 people, but hey, a record is a record.)  I’m particularly grateful for all of you who came to listen to me talk about PCI Express Controller Design Challenges at 16GT/s.  Not just for putting up with my quickly fading voice (day 2 folks know it was pretty much gone by then) but also for the literally standing-room only crowd!  I think that room was set for 75-80 people and we had well over 100 in attendance.

DSCN0462_03_05_Richard Solomon_Cropped_Small

 As always, the days were chock-full of great information on PCI Express, tasty snacks, and good company (I mean “networking”).  It’s impressive how many companies are hiring for PCI Express expertise, and I personally introduced more than a few folks on both sides of that table.  The acquisition of my former employer has left a number of good PCIe people (in design, verification, and customer support) looking for new “homes”.  So if your company happens to need people, drop me a note!

Synopsys had a cool new booth design this year, and I know many of you were attracted (not in a Bug’s Life way I hope) to the displays and demos – particularly the 16G PCIe PHY and controller demos!


Speaking of demos, I have to give a huge shout out to Paul from our Dublin R&D office, who not only made the trip out to help get the controller demo going, but improved it by about 300% while I was fighting airline problems on Monday – and then found himself dragooned into doing the demo video when my presentation schedule and voice didn’t cooperate with our video crew.  (I noticed the ladies all liked Paul’s accent too, maybe that’s why they weren’t sad when he replaced me!)

I’m sure I’ve forgotten more important things from my blogging hiatus, but I’m back now and I’ll try and keep you both informed and entertained … next month.

Thanks again for reading  ExpressYourself and if you only found this by googling “PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2014 M&Ms” then please, by all the candy-coated goodness in this world, click here to subscribe to this blog!  Feel free (unless you’re a SPAMbot of course) to leave a comment on any PCI Express topic(s) you’d like to read about in a future blog posting.

*Synopsys employees and family members are not eligible for the care package!  Decision of the judge(s) is final in matters of insight and legitimacy. Your mileage may vary. Professional driver, closed course, do not emulate.

Hmm, why is “pci-sig developers conference 2014″ not the same as “PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2014″ to google?

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