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A Low-Cost Programmable PCI Express Solution

Authored on: Feb 6, 2006 by David "Andrew" Brierley-Green and Ho Wai Wong-Lam

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PCI Express is a new interconnect standard that provides a serial replacement for the PCI, AGP, and PCI-X buses, which are commonly used in computer and embedded systems. The market has embraced the adoption of PCI Express in computers, and a wide variety of PCI Express plug-in cards and ExpressCards are now available.

Many plug-in cards and embedded systems that use FPGAs to implement PCI and PCI-X are expected to migrate to PCI Express in the coming years. Higher throughput, lower printed circuit board complexity, and the unification of various interconnectivity standards into one PCI Express standard are all factors that entice more developers to adopt PCI Express technology.

A programmable solution offers flexibility, short time to market, and low upfront costs, and is ideal for emerging and low- to mid-volume applications. Philips Semiconductors offers the PX1011A-EL1 x1 PCI Express PHY to form a low-cost programmable PCI Express solution with Xilinx® Spartan-™3/E FPGAs containing the Xilinx PCI Express Endpoint core. This combination achieves a price point that is a fraction of previously available programmable solutions for PCI Express. It enables designers of high-volume applications to take advantage of a programmable and compliant PCI Express solution.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / Third Quarter 2005. Article © Xcell Journal.



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