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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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Asus already at it.
By crystal clear on 2/10/2007 8:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Now we wait for devices to show up"

We already have one on the way-We saw it at CES.

Its called XGstation.

"XGstation connects the graphics card tucked in a external box with any laptop that can fit an ExpressCard. Box right now comes with 120W PSU, but the guys are evaluating 150W ones as well. Because of the better cooling environment, this box could prove to be an ideal house for the 8800GTS graphics card, or the upcoming R600XL board, thus offering extreme graphics performance on a notebook.

All of the R&D is being finalised now, and mass sampling should start in April/May. Expect that this product will be a big hit at CeBIT 007, with availability set around Computex Taipei in early June.

RE: Asus already at it.
By Sureshot324 on 2/10/2007 12:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
This could mean the end of USB sometime down the line. PCI-Express is already hot-swapable, and if your PC only needs one PCI-E controller instead of both a PCI-E AND USB controller it should be cheaper, simpler, and use less power.

Of course it would take a loooong time for USB to die because of the thousands of USB devices that are already out there.

RE: Asus already at it.
By Zoomer on 2/11/2007 2:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Are you serious?

PCIe for a keyboard. Wow. :p

USB will be with us for a long time. It's cheap and works well for what's it designed to do (slow HIDs, not storage or comms).

RE: Asus already at it.
By Sureshot324 on 2/12/2007 11:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
Why not? I doubt a PCI-E keyboard would be any more expensive once it got mainstream, and I can't see any other disadvantage compared to a USB keyboard.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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