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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.

Synopsys, Scott, and Richard at IDF (Booth 655, Sep 9-11)

Posted by Richard Solomon on August 27th, 2014

All right, no monkeying around this year, I promise (mostly) not to make any IDFvs IDF jokes – mainly because nobody even tried to answer last year’s quiz question.  (On that note, Scott and I had a quiz internally this spring for our field folks to see if they’d been following the blog…  Let’s just say the results were NOT gratifying!)

Once again, Scott and I will be manning the Synopsys PCIe booth (#655 – which doesn’t spell anything interesting in telephone code), showing off all the cool “Gen4″ PCIe IP we have.  Very much like a carnival midway you’ll be able to come by and look at scary eye diagrams from the Synopsys 16G PHY, run your very own simulation of a PCI Express link at 16GT/s, and compete in contests of strength to win fabulous prizes.  Ok, Ok, I made that last one up.

IDF actually is a neat show because you get to see a lot more of the end products that PCI Express is used in.  From what Scott and I are seeing, there’s no real sign of this trend slowing down.  In fact, we’ve really been inundated with PCI Express in mobile applications this year, with a lot of folks trying to do very low power implementations so I’ll be interested to see how that translates onto the show floor.  Of course, I’d bet good money that there’ll be a processor company around showing a few new CPUs, probably some related to internet-connected household items, etc, etc, etc.

If for some strange reason however, you’re interested in a much slower serial bus, which is mainly useful for humidifying the air around you then after feasting your eyes on some PCIe Gen4 goodness, why not wander over to booth 773 (which happens to be the EXACT number of times Eric was asked to “Stay off the grass!” on a recent outing).  There you can learn how to justify your chocolate habit with something called a femtoPHY, and if you ask nicely, charge your electric car - all while admiring some of the most famous haberdashery* in the tech industry.

“All right Richard, you’ve got me fired up – I want to go see Synopsys, Richard, and Scott at IDF in booth 655, but I can’t get my boss to pop for an IDF show pass. Boo hoo hoo!”

Oh geez, stop bawling, please, no really, stop it, you’re embarrassing yourself.  Look, I’ll tell you what – drop me a note, or leave your email for me in comments and I’ll give you a free pass.  Yes, I’m completely serious – Synopsys got a bunch of free passes (only good on Thursday and only for the Showcase from 11am to 2pm, but that’s where I’ll be) so you can go online and register with the code** I’ll give you and you get in for completely and absolutely free.  I won’t even make you help me tear down the booth afterwards!

I hope to see lots of you out at IDF, be sure to come by booth 655 and tell us how much you like the blog – or at least go by booth 773 and tell them how much funnier the other Synopsys blog is.  :)  Please leave your code request or code guess in the comments below, and as always, please don’t neglect clicking here to subscribe to ExpressYourself.


*Admit it, roughly 73% of you googled haberdashery to see if I were making another IDF joke

**If you want to try and figure out the code for yourself, here’s a clue – it’s the concatenation of the initials of a religious school in my town whose mascot is the Lions and the mnemonic for the Z80 opcode 0×00.  Even if you don’t want to use the code to register, leave a comment or email me if you figure it out on your own and you’ll win 2nd prize.

UPDATE 2014-08-28: Perhaps I made the clues too easy, or perhaps ExpressYourself readers just really are that much smarter than average, but Seki-san e-mailed me with the correct code 3.5 hours after this posted!  I’m willing to give out more 2nd prizes though, so don’t give up :)  -Richard

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