Emerging Landscape of High Speed Serial Interconnect Standards
The three serial interconnect standards discussed in this paper are different in terms of the choice of implemented features and the tradeoff between simplicity and flexibility. To determine the suitability of a standard fabric interconnect for a particular application, a thorough analysis of the core fabric features such as data encapsulation, service class differentiation (flow control and QoS), congestion management, event handling, and fabric initialization and management needs to be performed. However, the technical merits of these features alone are not likely to decide the winner. The overall ecosystem in terms of the number of vendors providing compliant and interoperable silicon, development tools, and software availability is going to be critical in the decision-making process. In addition, interconnects that can best leverage the compute industries economies of scale, such as those with PCI Express, are likely to find greater acceptability and usage across many market segments. It is this ecosystem that will be responsible for driving the costs of the solutions and time to market down, thereby accelerating the adoption rates.
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