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Express extended

Mini Card specification gets PCI SIG go ahead. Vanessa Knivett reports.

A companion to PCI Express – the PCI Express Mini Card specification – has been ratified by PCI SIG, the special interest group responsible for PCI based I/O technologies. The new specification will be an alternative to Mini PCI card technology currently implemented in mobile devices. PCI Express – formerly 3GIO – is a serial point to point interconnect technology aimed at computing and communications applications.

Commented Tony Pierce, PCI SIG chairman: "Completion of the PCI Express Mini Card specification underscores the industry progress in PCI Express technology development."

Intel is soon to announce a new product for PCI Express interconnect architecture, which it sees as key to realising the convergence of computing and communications. Integral to this will be a common standards based interconnect technology is needed to underpin this convergence.

Meanwhile, Intel got strong support at Supercomm in Atlanta this month from Hewlett-Packard and Alcatel for the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture, advocated by PCI SIG, PCMIG and others as the logical successor to CompactPCI.

In related news, the RapidIO trade association is expanding the interconnect architecture to cover data plane applications. The planned extensions will enable lower cost products such as multiprotocol switches

Eric Mantion, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR believes the extension has 'intriguing system level and chip implications. "It will enable new system configurations between blade servers, network and storage systems, as well as new enterprise telecoms applications. It also lets chip designers 'massively cluster' many chips or cores within a system, since RapidIO is also a chip to chip interconnect."

Graham Pitcher

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