Computing and communications technologies have advanced along with changing markets, bringing these technologies together at the silicon, board and system levels. The compute industry has evolved around a standard chip-to-chip interconnect—the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) specification—while communications and embedded solutions have incorporated multiple interconnect technologies for chip-to-chip and system fabrics, often proprietary. Multiple, diverged interconnect technologies present complexities and added cost in developing next generation embedded and communications systems.

The enormous benefits of a common chip-to-chip interconnect for board-level designs, and a single system fabric interconnect for system-level designs, encompass the entire ecosystem of computing and communications silicon manufacturers, silicon Intellectual Property (IP) vendors and equipment developers. PCI Express architecture as a new chip-to-chip interconnect and Advanced Switching based on PCI Express architecture for system fabrics are positioned to offer overwhelming benefits to the communications and embedded industries over other niche technologies.

In this paper, we look at the industry and market trends that are catalyzing the need for common interconnect topologies, the benefits of common interconnects and why PCI Express architecture and Advanced Switching based on PCI Express architecture offer compelling benefits to the industry.