This has been one crazy summer for folks here in Colorado! First we had the massive wildfires – including one that came entirely too near to me, the Black Forest Fire:
Oh darn, I almost forgot! If you’ve enjoyed my live shows, I mean presentations, mark your calendars for Tuesday August 27th at 9am Pacific and head on over to http://seminar2.techonline.com/registration/wcIndex.cgi?sessionID=synopsys_aug2713 along with two or three hundred of your closest friends and sign up for my first ever attempt at a webinar.
We talk here a lot about “PCI Express Everywhere” and yesterday’s release of SATA Express by the SATA-IO group formalizes PCI Express as the successor to SATA, so now PCI Express really is in your disks. Okay, Okay, mostly in your square (solid state) disks – though I’ve heard talk from a few rotating media people that they might build some PCIe-based magnetic disk drives too. This news won’t be a surprise to many folks however, especially those who’ve heard me talk at PCI-SIG Devcons over the last year or so.
For some of you, you may ask “who is Richard Solomon”, others may ask “what were you thinking”? Richard is currently the Vice President of the PCI-SIG board, the governing body for PCI/PCI-X/PCI Express specifications and 90 days have already passed since Richard joined us here at Synopsys as a Technical Marketing Manager for PCI Express. We are excited to have him here and be a contributer to our PCI Express team and the great products that we produce.
I’ve just spent the last couple of days at PCI-SIG’s DevCon and all I can say is WOW! I’ve been working with PCIe since 2003 and have been to every PCI-SIG Developer’s Conference since then. I don’t recall there ever being one with such a high level of excitement and large attendance as this one. I’m sure this DevCon had record attendance.
For each new generation of PCI Express, it takes time for the final version of the specification to be available. For PCIe 3.0, the protocol was changed to double the effective bandwidth over the previous version (Gen2) even though the rate only increased from 5.0 GT/s to 8.0 GT/s. This protocol change plus the addition of the equalization protocol to support the new Decision Feedback Equalization (DFE) made the transition to PCIe 3.0 much more complex and consequently extended out the availability of the final 3.0 specification. Of course, this also had an impact on the arrival of products in the market.
The PCI-SIG Compliance workshop #84 is taking place December 4-7 in Milpitas, California. At the workshop, you can test your PCIe 3.0 device as part of the “official FYI testing” to see if your product passes compliance. However, “FYI” testing is “For Your Information” and not “official testing”, so even if your product passes compliance you won’t be able to list it on the PCIe 3.0 Integrator’s list because this is only FYI testing. Based on the ramp for Gen1 and Gen2, I’d expect “official testing” for Gen 3 to begin by mid next year.
Why 4? PCI-SIG announced last November the fourth generation of the PCI Express specification operating at 16GT/s providing twice the throughput of PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0. This is the fourth generation of a standard that has replaced PCI, PCI-X and AGP to become the de-facto interconnect in digital office, servers, networking, digital home, storage and is quickly improving its position in mobile as well. BTW: What’s a MIPI?