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Now we wait for devices to show up

Several years ago when PCI-Express was being developed, the technology was also being designed to support devices outside of the traditional computer enclosure. While "internal" PCI-Express took off, development and support for external devices was slow. This week, the PCI Special Interests Group (PCI-SIG) announced the availability of the PCI-Express external cable specification revision 1.0.

With the new specifications fully defined, cables will be developed for all PCI-Express link widths including: x1, x4, x8 and x16. This allows for devices such as external high-speed storage controllers, network or fabric interfaces and graphics adapters to use the technology.

According to PCI-SIG chairman Al Yanes, external PCI-Express products should now be in full development and show up on the market in less than a year. "This specification helps the industry create new products that will take PCIe technology out of the box – enabling PCIe solutions for IO expansion drawers, external graphics processors, tethered mobile docking, communications equipment and embedded applications,” said Yanes.

External PCI-Express devices will be able to use signaling rates up to 2.5 gigatransfers per second (GT/sec). Of course, the host, adapter and cable must be able to support those speeds, but the future looks promising according to the specification's outline. Later on, 5GT/sec. rates will be possible. Some applications for this type of technology include stacking storage arrays together by using the external PCI-Express interconnect rather than relying on Gig-E networking.



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RE: eSATA + ePCIe = smaller form factors!
By chinna on 2/9/2007 3:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly what I was thinking, it is really great for HTPCs. Now, Manufacturer have options to make thin cases, and users need not compromise with only low profile cards, and expandability is not that much problematic anymore.(Raiser cards are there, but not that popular and not flexible).

One can have quite powerful Graphics card outside the case with just passive cooling.

I see lot of possibilities, hope manufacturers embrace this soon.


By ElJefe69 on 2/12/2007 11:31:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yes exactly what I thought! being a devotee of silentpcreview.com for years, I have made my gaming machine using one undervolted 120mm fan. If I could remove the video card from the case, I could easily passively or at least near silently cool it. I could get a r600 xtx, rip off the cooling and make it work in a silent setting.

clusters and linux.... one could make a cheap small form factor setup with onboard video, like a 3200 amd64 chip, put that into the cluster for a few hundred dollars... lots of fascinating possibilities. One could make their own google computer :)



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