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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: 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.

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