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PLX intros 3-lane PCI Express Gen2 switch

Devices boast 5Gbps speeds, Ultra-Low power, miniature packaging

PLX Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLXT), the leader in connectivity solutions for the data center and the home, today announced the industry’s only three-lane PCI Express® (PCIe®) Gen2 switch, and a new four-lane PCIe Gen2 switch, both of which are in the market’s smallest 10x10mm QFN packaging. With samples available in early July, the PLX® ExpressLane™ PEX8603 (3 lanes, 3 ports) and PEX8605 (4 lanes, 4 ports) switches offer very low power requirements, down to 0.6W typical, have exclusive optional x1 and x2 port configurations, along with unique debug diagnostic circuitry backed by powerful free software tools.

Targeting a rapidly emerging PCIe landscape ranging from the enterprise to the consumer, these new devices are ideal for energy-sensitive, form-factor-restrictive, cost-conscious markets including digital televisions, set-top boxes, home gateways, security systems, cable modems, DVRs, multi-function printers, digital media servers, video surveillance, and numerous other control-plane and embedded applications.

David Raun, PLX vice president of marketing and business development, said:

As the industry’s first three-lane PCIe Gen2 switch, the PEX8603 gives designers an unprecedented new choice of high-speed yet highly efficient 5Gbps non-blocking interconnect performance. PCI Express is now readily available on all the processors in the consumer market and customers need PLX switches to expand connectivity to various endpoints, such as WiFi modules and USB 3.0 devices. Engineers can confidently bridge PCIe Gen1 and Gen3 designs knowing that the forward and backward compatibility of the standard will sustain their architectures.

Rob Lineback, senior market research analyst at IC Insights,said:

Power and size efficiencies are driving development of a new generation of semiconductors targeted at emerging and fast-growth market segments, from consumer electronics to full enterprise systems. PLX has factored this imperative into its expanding PCI Express switch lineup, with its lower-lane-count devices particularly suited for applications demanding such efficiencies.

PLX ExpressLane PCIe silicon and supporting software provide the high-speed interconnect in server, storage, enterprise and consumer products from manufacturers worldwide. This family of more than 50 highly configurable devices ranges from three to 96 lanes, three to 24 ports, the industry’s lowest latency (down to 110ns) and power (as low as 0.6W), as well as comprehensive PCIe bridge solutions. In addition to having the industry’s largest family of PCIe Gen1 and Gen2 devices, PLX recently introduced the market’s first PCIe Gen3 (8Gbps) switches – six devices ranging from 12 to 48 lanes designed to optimize servers, communications systems, graphics, and other performance-demanding applications.

Pricing for the new PEX8603 and PEX8605 devices ranges from $4.00 to $6.00 in volume. The products will sample globally in July 2011 and will be in full production in Q3’11.

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