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Weaving a new fabric

New backplane architectures speed data transmission. By Dave Bowring.

Traditional parallel bus structures, like those used in CompactPCI and VME, are running up against limits imposed by physics and will not be able to respond to the ever increasing speed of system cpus. For this reason, overall system performance is now often limited by I/O bandwidth, as well as by the ability to move data in, out and between boards and systems.

The solution is to move away from the traditional bus based structure for the backplane towards a star or mesh configuration. This approach has now been created as a standard by the telecom user group within PICMG, the 700 strong industry consortium that developed and maintains the CompactPCI family of specifications.

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Graham Pitcher

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