24 February 2012

Embedded World: GPU expansion system operates at unprecedented speed

Embedded World: One Stop Systems, a specialist in custom, semi-custom computing systems and PCIe over cable products, has announced that it will be unveiling new PCI Express (PCIe) Gen 3 products at Embedded World 2012 in Nuremberg, Germany. According to OSS, it will demonstrate the latest in gpu expansion systems operating at an unprecedented speed of 128Gb/s per slot.

The company will also show two new PCIe Gen 3 cable adapters, the PCIe x8 dual/quad board and the PCIe x16 switch based cable adapter – both of which can be used in expansion and networking applications.

"PCIe over cable technology and solutions offers data transfer speeds up to 128Gb/s at a price point one third to one half that of the other two expansion products, Infiniband and 10Gb Ethernet," said Steve Cooper, CEO, One Stop Systems. "We see the European market well positioned to embrace this latest technology, with many manufacturers having been buying small quantities to test for about two years. Many large US and Pacific Rim OEMs that started testing in small quantities four years ago are now in production with their products utilising OSS PCIe over cable products. Some of these OEMs are Avid Technology, Unisys, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Canon, National Instruments, Agilent, and Violin Memory. We expect European companies to follow in the same manner."

According to OSS, the gpu expansion enclosures are specifically designed to support high power consuming Gen 3 gpus with each slot operating at 128Gb/s. The 1U enclosure supports either two double wide or four single wide cards and the 2U supports either four double wide or eight single wide cards. The expansion enclosures cable to a host server through the PCIe x16 Gen 3 cable adapter which installs in the host server's x16 slot.

The PCIe x8 Gen 3 dual and quad port cable adapters are full height, half length PCIe cards that can be used in I/O expansion and networking applications. The two port board has one PCIe x16 edge connector and two PCIe x8 cable connectors on the slot cover. The switch is field programmable to allow the different ports to receive or transmit data. In an I/O expansion application, the two port card can receive data from one server and transmit it to two I/O points. In the networking application, the ports can be set to non-transparent, allowing server to server communication. The four port card consists of the two port card with two cable connectors and a mezzanine card with two additional cable connectors. This card supports communication between five servers with the addition of the OSS ExpressNet 2.0 driver installed on each server. It can also be used in I/O expansion applications installed in a host server and cabled to four downstream end points.

The PCIe x16 Gen 3 cable adapter is a half height, half length PCIe card with an x16 edge connector and an x16 cable connector. The PLX 8733 Gen 3 switch has an NT port, allowing it to be used in networking applications between two pcs as well as in I/O applications from a host server cabled to a downstream end point. It's also equipped with an internal DMA controller and spread spectrum clocking isolation. OSS says the cable adapter has the added benefit of operating in both the host and target modes with a field programmable switch setting.

Chris Shaw

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