Express Yourself

 

Trick or Treat… PCI Express 3.1 Released!

Yes, yes, I *know* that Halloween was weeks ago…  Would you believe that I’ve been planning this post since *BEFORE* Halloween?  You should, since I said way back in March that we were expecting PCI Express 3.1 to release “soon”.

Don’t worry, it’s not April Fool’s Day – so yes, in case you were wondering, the PCI Express 3.1 release is the “treat” part – PCI-SIG members can download it right now:

https://www.pcisig.com/members/downloads/NCB-PCI_Express_Base_r3.1_October8-2014.pdf

(that’s the “normal” version without changebars – if you really want the changebar version it’s here.)  There shouldn’t be anything really surprising in this release as it’s mostly a rollup of ECNs which have been released since 3.0 came out.  Here’s a short list of the major ECNs which got included:

  • Downstream Port containment (DPC) and Enhanced (eDPC) version
  • Separate Refclk Independent SSC (SRIS) Architecture including a later change to JTOL and SSC Profiles
  • Process Address Space ID (PASID)
  • Lightweight Notification (LN)
  • Precision Time Measurement (PTM)
  • Readiness Notifications (RN)
  • L1 PM Substates with CLKREQ (L1SS)
  • M-PCIe

(In case you were wondering, yes, Synopsys PCI Express Controller and PHY IP is compatible with the new PCIe 3.1 spec – check out http://www.synopsys.com/pcie for full details.) 

Scott and I have talked about a number of these ECNs before, and I’ve presented on a lot of them at various PCI-SIG Training Days and Developers Conferences.  Which reminds me that I’m terribly remiss in reporting on several events 🙁

That segues rather well into the “trick” part of this posting.  As long as we’ve been blogging, Scott and I have been asking folks to comment on our postings and saying we would respond.  Almost all we ever got were SPAMbot replies – offering us a wide range of personal care or enhancement products, get-rich-quick-schemes, or links to the bot’s website with only the very occasional real comment mixed in among the chaff.  Like most blogs, ours emails us when a comment is received so we can moderate it and either approve it for publication or not.  Synopsys moved the blog platform over to a new system in June 2014 and our SPAM level went way down – in fact down to zero.  (You can probably guess where this is going…) 

Last week I happened to log into the portion of our blog dashboard which lists comments waiting for moderation and to my great surprise I found it chock full of them.  99% of those were SPAMbots, but I found *TWO* real comments!  After getting over my shock, my next reaction was “September?!?!?  October?!?!?!?  Why didn’t I get emailed about these?”  I checked with Scott and he confirmed that he hadn’t gotten email either.  To make a long story short, as a result of this, Synopsys IT fixed a problem on the new blog platform which was preventing email from leaving the servers.  🙁

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that one of those comments (from September) was from our co-worker Mick of Breaking the Three Laws fame inquiring about a “cyborg display panel attack”* which I’ll address in a postscript.  The other was actually a very detailed question about PCI Express cabling and how it might play out in the market, posted by a user going by Porthem.  Given that I’ve only just now gotten that comment, I’d like to respond in a later posting, but I wanted to assure Mr/Ms Porthem that s/he was NOT ignored … just hidden behind some technical difficulties.

So now that comments should ACTUALLY be working, feel free to test us by responding in the comment field below, and as always, please don’t neglect clicking here to subscribe to ExpressYourself.

Richard

*Mick’s actual comment was “I’m told you have an amazing story from IDF which includes a cyborg display panel jumping out and attacking and you bravely fighting it off.”  Mick reminds me I didn’t report much on IDF this year, and truth be told there wasn’t as much PCIe “stuff” to talk about, but I did actually manage to injure myself there 🙁  While tearing down the booth, I “helped” disassemble a literature stand and in doing so, smacked myself in the face with what is essentially the edge of a large metal object.  Some possibly-not-very-nice-language ensued along with some surprisingly profuse bleeding and a short cab ride to an urgent care facility not far from the Moscone Center.  In the end, no real harm done, and my face STILL won’t be on the cover of Vogue any time soon 🙂

Frankly, I like Mick’s version of the event much better, so let’s just agree to go with the cyborg display panel attack shall we?  Great, thanks!

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