CORRECTING and REPLACING PLX Launches Industrys First PCI Express Switches With Integrated DMA

Unique Feature Removes Burden From Processor, Resulting in Higher Performance, Greater Flexibility PLX Technology, Inc.
IDF San Francisco 2008

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--()--Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

The corrected release reads:


Unique Feature Removes Burden From Processor, Resulting in Higher Performance, Greater Flexibility

PLX Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLXT), the leading global supplier of PCI Express® (PCIe®) switch and bridge silicon, today announced three powerful new PCIe switch devices with a innovative architecture that features an integrated direct memory access (DMA) engine. Each switch provides four DMA channels to support the high data rates required in storage systems, servers, networking, control plane and embedded markets. By offloading the DMA function typically required of the processor, PLXs DMA-capable switches increase system performance and create a wide range of new options for next-generation PCIe designs.

The breakthrough ExpressLane PEX 8619 (16 lanes, 16 ports), PEX 8615 (12 lanes, 12 ports) and PEX 8609 (eight lanes, eight ports) PCIe Gen 2-compliant switches offer flexible and configurable ports ranging from x1 to x4 on all three devices, with up to x8 on the PEX 8619. The four DMA channels can support high-speed data transfers between I/O devices connected to any of the available ports, while maintaining independence from the unique transparent switch functionality with up to 3Gbps throughput per DMA channel. Additional features include a low latency maximum of 140ns and power requirements down to 1.2W typical (8609), with quality of service (QoS) by means of two virtual channels (VCs) per port, spread spectrum clock (SSC) isolation via dual clock domains, and end-to-end guaranteed data integrity.

The DMA engine in these devices implement a descriptor ring approach, while each of the four DMA channels can saturate a x8 link at Gen 2 speeds (up to 4GB/s) in one direction. Each descriptor provides support for large transfer sizes (up to 128MB) giving the user the ability to perform very large data transfers in any direction (memory to device, device to device, memory to memory). Descriptors can exist in host memory or, alternatively, inside the DMA switch. Up to 256 descriptors are supported internally in PLX DMA switches, which also support 32-bit and 64-bit transfers as well as programmable QoS.

Since its inception nearly two decades ago, DMA has been highly successful in boosting performance across countless industry sectors, said Steve Berry, president of Electronic Trend Publications, an industry market research concern. PCI Express technology has evolved to the point where it addresses far more applications than anyone had anticipated, thanks in large part to silicon vendors integrating tried-and-true technologies such as DMA, as PLX Technology has done with its new switches.

By allowing processors to focus on computational tasks instead of managing the constant delays required of DMA functionality, PLXs new switch technology offers the opportunity to take up this slack in system latency while delivering a scalable, high-bandwidth, non-blocking Gen 2 performance interconnection, said Krishna Mallampati, senior product marketing manager, PLX. As PCIe switches have become a fundamental building block in todays designs, these feature-rich PLX chips can help in preliminary architectural considerations.

PLX will be hosting a Gen 2 switch product demonstration showcasing its production-ready devices at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Calif., August 19-21. Please visit PLX in the IDF PCI Express community for more information.

Pricing and Availability

The PEX 8619, PEX 8615 and PEX 8609 volume prices are $28.55, $22.25 and $14.25, respectively, and will be sampling in Q4 2008, with full production delivery slated for Q1 2009. PLXs PCIe switches provide board and system designers with the industrys most extensive and proven lineup of products ranging in density from three to 16 ports and from four to 48 lanes. For detailed information on the entire ExpressLane switch family, please visit or contact sales at

Press Graphics

A downloadable high-resolution press graphic is at

About PLX

PLX Technology, Inc. (, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., USA, is the worlds leading supplier of PCI Express and other standard I/O interconnect semiconductors to the communications, server, storage, embedded-control, and consumer markets. The company provides a competitive advantage through an integrated combination of experience, high-performance silicon, hardware and software design tools, and global partnerships. These innovative solutions enable our customers to develop equipment with industry-leading performance, scalability and reliability that allows them to bring designs to market faster.

ExpressLane, PLX Technology and the PLX Technology logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of PLX Technology, Inc. All other product names that appear in this material are for identification purposes only and are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.


CommonGround Communications (for PLX)
Jerry Steach, 1-415-222-9996


CommonGround Communications (for PLX)
Jerry Steach, 1-415-222-9996