PCIe Heads for the Network

Arthur Cole

Gennum Corp. is looking to extend the PCI bus to network storage and server applications with a new repeater system capable of operating over 50-foot cable spans.


The company showcased the GN1406 device using an IDT PCIe 2.0 switch delivering 5.0 GTps from a Blue-Ray disk drive over PCIe cable at the Intel Developer Forum this week in San Francisco. The device also bridged the switch with a graphics card over 15 feet of Cat 5 cable.


The company said the demonstration was intended to show how one host PCIe slot can be expanded into additional slots over cable. Those additional slots can then be used for PCIe I/O functions or for embedded computing boards or graphics processors. This will allow larger numbers of boards to be moved outside the PC where they can be outfitted with their own power and cooling supplies.


The repeater itself is a 90nm CMOS solution outfitted with jitter control and equalization features aimed at providing error-free signals regardless of the amount of skew or cross-talk that is present.

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