Sunday, March 18, 2007

Express stalled, KR A-OK in backplanes

Monday's top interconnect news is that IDT is pushing forward its work on the defunct Advanced Switching Interconnect to deliver a chip set aimed at putting PCI Express in the backplane of computer and comms systems. The analysis is it doesn't stand much of a chance. Details on both the news and analysis should be here by mid-day Monday.

In short, top technologists I talked to at Alacatel-Lucent, HP and Continuous Computing said Ethernet is and will be the big winner in the backplane for the long haul. RapidIO has a small supporting role to play, and Infiniband may gain a slice of the business, at least in the medium term.

The RapidIO folks have posted a detailed 50-page white paper about why they have a technical edge over Ethernet. That will give them some traction for systems that are willing to pay more for extra performance and features.

The big take away: Watch out for the 10Gbit serial Ethernet standard called KR. It could be huge some day.


RapidIO Executive Director said...

Rick, Thanks for the info
And the link to our RapidIO Vs Ethernet in in Embedded Whitepaper, the most important read for any embedded engineer considering RapidIO or Ehternet.
Not so sure you can conclude 'willing to pay more'
See the cost considerations in the paper.
Regards Tom Cox RapidIO TA Exec.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Ethernet arguement always seems to end up being "it's cheaper". And the classic "once 10GbE hits the mainstream all those performance issues you're worried about will go away". We're seeing the same thing in storage land in iSCSI vs FC. The problem is 10GbE is still expensive. Mainstream is a ways off. If you want real backplane performance today it's sRIO or Infiniband. For storage networking it's still FC. If you can live with what you've got today (1GbE, proprietary) for another 5 years until 10GbE prices come down then great. And I guess most people are going to suck it up and wait since no one's falling over themselves to implement sRIO backplanes.

And those ASI-like IDT PCIe switches just look plain silly. Who would want to lock themselves into an IDT special? Those guys do sRIO too, what are they thinking?