Low latency, low power, high reliability Gen 4 PCIe switches

7th August 2018
Alex Lynn

Sampling availability of the Switchtec Gen 4 PCIe switches from Microsemi corporation has been announced. Switchtec aims to enable customers to build next-gen high performance, low latency interconnect solutions in high growth markets including machine learning, data centre servers and storage equipment.

The new generation of PCIe switches, which offer high density and reliability as well as low power, provide customers with a quick time to market solution with field proven Switchtec firmware and a chip architecture enabling significant re-use of customers’ investments in Switchtec management software, drivers, firmware and system design.

Andrew Dieckmann, Vice President of Marketing and Applications Engineering for Microsemi’s Data Center Solutions Business Unit, stated: “Server, storage and General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) architectures are increasingly growing their use of PCIe infrastructure and our new Switchtec Gen 4 PCIe switches provide a high reliability solution to address this increasing demand. With significant intellectual property reuse from our Gen 3 to Gen 4 PCIe switches, our customers can leverage much of their Switchtec management software, drivers, firmware, and development tool investments, providing a lower risk, quicker time to revenue solution.”

The Switchtec Gen 4 PCIe switches are GPU-optimised with low pin-to-pin latency and low latency variation for optimal machine learning workload performance. Other features include up to 100 line-rate capable PCIe lanes as well as an integrated high performance cut-through direct memory access (DMA) engine. High reliability features include hot- and surprise-plug support, end-to-end data integrity and debugging with the ChipLink diagnostics tool.

Ogi Brkic, General Manager, Radeon Professional Graphics at AMD, added: “Data centre architectures are increasingly growing their use of PCIe infrastructure due to its high performance and low latency benefits. We’re pleased to see the Gen4 PCIe switching investment by Microsemi to strengthen the ecosystem and drive broader deployment of PCIe solutions.”

Microsemi’s Switchtec Gen 4 PCIe switches, part of a complete end-to-end solution of infrastructure and endpoint solutions for PCIe Gen 4, are sampling now to lead customers.

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