For the last few generations of computers and communication systems, the predominant system interconnect has been a parallel bus structure, exemplified by the ubiquitous PCI bus. The speeds of these buses have increased to keep up with system demands. However, limitations in the number of connections and length of runs still exist, causing a demand for higher availability and guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS). This demand has spurredthe development of switch fabrics and serial interconnects, such as StarFabric, which can handle different data types and deliver native QoS. Additionally, because StarFabric comprises a network of switches with point-to-point connections, it can offer a virtually limitless number of nodes.

Reprinted with permission from Embedded Computing Design/Winter 2003. Article © OpenSystems Publishing.