Applications such as data analytics, autonomous-driving, and medical diagnostics are driving extraordinary demands for machine learning and hyperscale compute infrastructure. To meet these demands, Microchip Technology Inc. has announced the world’s first PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 switch solutions — the Switchtec PFX PCIe 5.0 family — doubling the interconnect performance for dense compute, high-speed networking, and NVM Express (NVMe) storage.
Together with the XpressConnect retimers, Microchip is currently the industry’s only supplier of both PCIe Gen 5 switches and PCIe Gen 5 retimer products, delivering a complete portfolio of PCIe Gen 5 infrastructure solutions with proven interoperability.
“Accelerators, graphic processing units (GPUs), central processing units (CPUs), and high-speed network adapters continue to drive the need for higher-performance PCIe infrastructure,” said Andrew Dieckmann, associate VP of marketing and applications engineering for Microchip’s data center solutions business unit. “Microchip’s introduction of the world’s first PCIe 5.0 switch doubles the PCIe Gen 4 interconnect link rates to 32 GT/s to support the most demanding next-generation machine learning platforms,”
The Switchtec PFX PCIe 5.0 switch family comprises high-density switches that support 28 to 100 lanes and up to 48 non-transparent bridges (NTBs). The Switchtec technology devices support high-reliability capabilities, including hot-and surprise-plug and secure-boot authentication. With PCIe 5.0 data rates of 32 GT/s, signal integrity and complex system topologies pose significant development and debug challenges.
To accelerate time-to-market, the Switchtec PFX PCIe 5.0 switch provides a comprehensive suite of debugging and diagnostic features including sophisticated internal PCIe analyzers supporting Transaction Layer Packet (TLP) generation and analysis and on-chip non-obtrusive SerDes eye capture capabilities. Rapid system bring-up and debug is further supported with ChipLink — an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) based device configuration and topology viewer that provides full access to the PFX PCIe switch’s registers, counters, diagnostics, and forensic capture capabilities.
“Intel’s upcoming Sapphire Rapids Xeon processors will implement PCI Express 5.0 and Compute Express Link running up to 32.0 GT/s to deliver the low-latency and high-bandwidth I/O solutions our customers need to deploy,” said Dr. Debendra Das Sharma, Intel fellow, and director of I/O technology and standards. “We are pleased to see Microchip’s PCIe 5.0 switch and retimer investment strengthen the ecosystem and drive the broader deployment of PCIe 5.0 and CXL enabled solutions.”
Microchip has released a full set of design-in collateral, reference designs, evaluation boards, and tools to support customers building systems that take advantage of the high-bandwidth of PCIe 5.0.
In addition to PCIe technology, Microchip also provides data center infrastructure builders worldwide with total system solutions including RAID over NVMe, storage, memory, timing and synchronization systems, stand-alone secure boot, secure firmware and authentication, wireless products, touch-enabled displays to configure and monitor data center equipment and predictive fan controls.
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