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Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Philips and Xilinx deliver affordable programmable PCI Express solution


Royal Philips Electronics and Xilinx, Inc. demonstrated a programmable PCI Express endpoint silicon solution offered at 1/10th the cost than traditional solutions.

PCI Express is a high-speed, point-to-point serial connection that offers a 2.5 to 80 Gigabit transfer rate. It has a dedicated link to each device instead of a shared bus, and delivers advanced features with scalable performance that gives manufacturers the flexibility needed to quickly bring PC, peripheral and consumer electronic products to market.

Comprised of the Philips PX1011A PCI Express PHY and a Xilinx Spartan-3-based FPGA with an optimised Xilinx PCI Express LogiCORE IP core, the flexible Philips-Xilinx PCI Express offering can be used in many high-volume applications including add-in cards, host bus adapters, graphics cards and high-end servers. The PCI Express solution is also packaged in a low-profile form factor, supporting ExpressCard technology applications for space-constrained modular expansion platforms, and it is fully compliant to the PCI Express 1.0a specification.

According to Electronic Trend Publications (ETP), the number of PCI Express ports is expected to exceed 2 billion in 2008. "The industry leaders are pricing their PCI Express offerings quite low, responding to market demand for PCI Express based product offerings," said Steve Berry, principal analyst, ETP. "The aggressive pricing of the Philips-Xilinx PCI-Express solution will help accelerate the adoption of this interface in many different high-volume applications by providing a flexible solution at competitive price points compared to fixed devices."

The solution includes the Philips PCI Express PHY that delivers the SERDES serializer / deserializer and the Physical Coding Sub-Layer (PCS) and offers excellent bit rate performance. The Philips PHY consumes little power and features a small form factor that makes it ideal for ExpressCard applications. The Xilinx 90nm Spartan-3 FPGA portion features an industry-leading combination of block and distributed RAM, up to 784 I/Os, MicroBlaze 32-bit RISC soft processors and embedded XtremeDSP functionality supporting multiply and accumulates (MAC) functions (dedicated 18x18 multipliers deliver up to 330 billion MACs per second).

Availability
The Philips PX1011A-EL1 PCI Express PHY will start sampling this month, with general availability in June. Philips and Xilinx semiconductor devices can be obtained through a common distributor Avnet, providing cost-effective services and solutions vital to a broad base of more than 100,000 customers and 250 suppliers.


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