Accelerating machine learning and hyperscale computing infrastructure

03-02-2021 | Microchip Technology | Connectors, Switches & EMECH

Microchip Technology has released what is claimed to be the world’s first PCIe 5.0 switch solutions — the Switchtec PFX PCIe 5.0 family — doubling the interconnect performance for dense compute, high-speed networking and NVM Express (NVMe) storage. Together with the XpressConnect retimers, the company is the industry’s only supplier of both PCIe Gen 5 switches and PCIe Gen 5 retimer products, giving a complete portfolio of PCIe Gen 5 infrastructure solutions with proven interoperability.


“Accelerators, GPUs, CPUs and high-speed network adapters continue to drive the need for higher performance PCIe infrastructure. Microchip’s introduction of the world’s first PCIe 5.0 switch doubles the PCIe Gen 4 interconnect link rates to 32 GT/s to support the most demanding next-generation machine learning platforms,” said Andrew Dieckmann, associate vice president of marketing and applications engineering for Microchip’s data centre solutions business unit. “Coupled with our XpressConnect family of PCIe 5.0 and Compute Express Link (CXL) 1.1/2.0 retimers, Microchip offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of PCIe Gen 5 infrastructure solutions with the lowest latency and end-to-end interoperability.”


The switch family includes high density, high-reliability switches supporting 28 lanes to 100 lanes and up to 48 NTBs. The technology devices support high-reliability capabilities, including hot-and surprise-plug as well as secure boot authentication. With PCIe 5.0 data rates of 32 GT/s, signal integrity and complex system topologies pose significant development and debug challenges.






“Intel’s upcoming Sapphire Rapids Xeon processors will implement PCI Express 5.0 and Compute Express Link running up to 32.0 GT/s to deliver the low-latency and high-bandwidth I/O solutions our customers need to deploy,” said Dr Debendra Das Sharma, Intel fellow and director of I/O technology and standards. “We are pleased to see Microchip’s PCIe 5.0 switch and retimer investment strengthen the ecosystem and drive broader deployment of PCIe 5.0 and CXL enabled solutions.”


The company has released a complete set of design-in collateral, reference designs, evaluation boards and tools to support customers building systems that take advantage of the high-bandwidth of PCIe 5.0.

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