Print 46 comment(s) - last by Hawkido.. on Feb 13 at 10:13 AM

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: YES!!!!
By kenji4life on 2/10/2007 4:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of the Hercules Gametheatre XP soundcards.. a small pci card with a connector and a thick ass cable that runs to an external box.. It's actually kind of funny to imagine that the video industry never went full out like this with the high end like the sound industry. But this is probably because advances (ISA < PCI < AGP << PCI-E etc) have kept the video industry much more 'busy' than the sound. I mean honestly how far have sound cards come (relative to video cards)? The perceivable difference favors video advancement 10 fold.

But I wonder what a blind person might argue?

Bottom line is (I went WAY off on a tangent)
It would be both awesome and ironic to see external video cards. Awesome for obvious reasons and ironic since being 'tethered' to the cpu for speed for so long, the video card hasn't had a chance to break out like the sound cards.

This is evolutionary.

RE: YES!!!!
By misuspita on 2/11/2007 7:03:01 AM , Rating: 2
And since we've touched the soundcards, think about some Pro and semipro equipment coming from top dogz of the sound industry. I mean less latency when running tons of plugins, vst instruments and outboard equipment.... this might be cool, when running on a core2 duo or quad laptop. Really cool. No more cumbersome desktop system. I'm waiting for the development of soundcards based on this. Though I think it will pass a couple of years before this kind of products hit the road...

RE: YES!!!!
By ceefka on 2/11/2007 1:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
Digidesign Pro Tools and TC Powercore already come in PCI-E cards. With a 192/I rack unit, that is practically a PCI-E breakout box. The only thing missing was connectivity with a laptop. Your laptop will however still need an external drive to have a respectable track count and or play your sampled concert piano and drums. Perhaps having a couple of big and fast SSDs on external eSATA or PCI-E someday will help with that.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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