This paper is intended to introduce design engineers, system architects and business managers to the PCI Express protocol and how this interconnect technology fits into today’s environment.

This technology brief will first introduce the problems that exist with interconnects today, and then discuss how the PCI Express protocol addresses these issues. We then will present an overview on the PCI Express architecture, and give an example of how PCI Express would operate. We will then wrap up with how this protocol addresses various market needs, as well as how to rationalize when to use PCI Express and Advanced Switching.