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PCI Express* Ethernet Networking White Paper

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PCI Express* Ethernet Networking White Paper

PCI Express*, a new third-generation input/output (I/O) standard, allows enhanced Ethernet network performance beyond that of the older Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and PCI Extended (PCI-X) desktop and server slots. The higher performance of PCI Express derives from its faster, serial-bus architecture, which provides a dedicated, bi-directional I/O with 2.5-GHz clocking, versus the slower 133-MHz parallel bus of PCI-X. This white paper provides an overview of the new PCI Express bus architecture and the benefits it brings to Ethernet network connectivity for desktops, workstations and servers.

Abstract

With ever-increasing network traffic, bottlenecks are inevitable in the existing parallel, multi-drop architecture of the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus and its second-generation version, the PCI Extended (PCI-X) bus. Today, those bottlenecks can be alleviated with the much higher performance of the third-generation PCI Express* architecture, which uses a 2.5-GHz clocked serial I/O structure to provide higher bandwidth and far better scalability than its predecessor I/O architectures. This white paper provides an overview of the new PCI Express bus architecture and the benefits it brings to Ethernet network connectivity for desktops, workstations and servers.

Introduction

The venerable first-generation PCI standard and its second-generation relative, the PCI-X bus, have served well over the years as Input/Output (I/O) architectures for PCs and network servers. While PCI and PCI-X will continue to provide service for some years to come, their usefulness will continue to diminish. The reasons are quite simple—PCI and PCI-X are too bandwidth and scalability limited for much of today’s computing and networking needs.

Read the full PCI Express* Ethernet Networking White Paper Case Study.