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Bridging device connects PCIe-based host processors to ASI fabrics

Posted: 01 Nov 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:kestrel  stargen  axsys  software  pci express 

Kestrel, the latest member of StarGen's AXSys switching and software product family, is a PCI Express (pcie) to Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) bridge designed to connect PCIe-based host processors to ASI fabrics.

The Kestrel bridging device's ability to simultaneously support multiple data movement protocols and sustain data throughputs up to 16Gbps makes it suitable for a broad range of applications, including storage arrays, video servers, blade-server platforms, IMS compute elements and embedded image processing systems.

Kestrel has a fully compliant x8 PCIe interface that can operate at all of the intermediate widths. Its ASI interface supports two modes of operation. For high-bandwidth applications, it can be configured as a single x8 port and for other platforms where redundancy or load balancing across two fabric planes is preferred, the ASI interface can be split into two independent x4 ports.

Kestrel can support legacy PCIe traffic while using ASI's native data movement protocols for peer-to-peer communication between ASI nodes. Data movement can be done through either a programmed I/O model or with DMA assist. With its two integrated DMA engines and two descriptor ring pairs per engine, Kestrel provides Inter Processor Communication (IPC).

The Kestrel PCIe-to-ASI bridge offers hardware support for multiple data movement protocols, including PI-8, SLS, and SQ, with security protection. It also features integrated DMA engines; QoS with support for five virtual channels on ASI; advanced packet flow control mechanisms; independent clocking option for PCIe and ASI; and in-band and out-of-band status/health monitoring.

StarGen is also releasing a Kestrel Product Development Kit (PDK) to provide customers with tools for evaluating ASI technology. The Kestrel PCIe PDK is a x8 PCIe adapter card, which inserts into any compliant PCIe slot on compute, storage, and communication platforms. ASI connections are provided through high-speed cables connected to two independent x4 ports.

The kit includes device drivers for Linux 2.6 and other operating systems. It is fully compatible with StarGen's AXSys ASI Software Suite and Merlin PDKs so that system developers can quickly and easily assess different system architectures, develop software and evaluate performance before OEM hardware availability.

Kestrel, which comes in a 27-by-27mm, 484-pin Pb-free BGA package, will begin sampling in November. The dekelopment Kits will also be sampling in conjunction with Kestrel availability. Kestrel is priced at $43 in volume.

- Ismini Scouras

eeProductCenter





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