Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RIO gains traction in the shadow of Express

No big surprise here, but Crystal Cube Consulting released its projections for RapidIO adoption yesterday. The group estimates RIO was used in about ten percent of all DSPs in 2006, a figure that will rise to about 34 percent by the end 2011. A report from In-Stat earlier this year provides more details and a broader view of this sector.

The interface is mainly catching on as a way to link DSP farms in wireless base stations as well as gear aimed at video applications, CCC said. Serial RapidIO also is being used for embedded backplane systems in high-end defense, medical and telecom systems. That's pretty much the story as the RapidIO Trade Association tells it. In fact, I suspect the association may have commissioned the report to give itself credibility.

According to CCC, the upside for RIO is that it is gaining design wins in the wake of the demise of Advanced Switching that was supposed to smooth some of the bumps of migrating PCI Express from computers into multi-host embedded systems. The downside is Express still has plenty of momentum thanks to the hundreds of millions of computers using it.

Thus "some companies are recommending that people put native PCI Express interfaces on their communications chips. If that were to become quite common it could have an impact on the RapidIO market’s continued strong growth, but that remains to be seen," according to the executive summary of the report.


Anonymous said...

It certainly does look like the RapidIO guys are in bed with CCC. Or CCC is doing the common consulting practice of simply repeating back what vendors say and charging for it.

ASI dying didn't hurt or help RapidIO. No one who was thinking using ASI is rushing to use it. For one thing there's no off-the-shelf way to get from RapidIO to Express. Second, how many native RapidIO endpoints are there again? Oh right. ZERO.

RapidIO Executive Director said...

CCC's Report was done as independant research, Yes we provided the contact with RapidIO members, and they where interviewed by CCC. The numbers are based on ACTUALS and forecasts by the biggest name in Semi's.
ASI dying was a huge help, as it was so much FUD that some where frozen in their steps forward.
Smart vendors moved forward with RapidIO early.
RapidIO has a number for NATIVE end points, Freescale Processors and DSP's, TI DSP's (you may have heard of TI) (but anonymous is an easy way to hide who you are)
I have seen X86 solutions with host bridges to RIO.
RapidIO and Express are both on many endpoints, and FPGA solutions are around in systems I see. The market will determine if Express endpoints to RapidIO are worth investing in, at this point not!
Many more RapidIO devices are in the works, or out in a NDA form, Talk to the RapidIO vendors they have Roadmaps and parts Sampling to Tier ones that are not public. (anonymous might be tier three or a PC guy?)
Bottom line, RapidIO is strong and built for the future, Express is just not robust, and out of gas.
Its serial PCI and its good, and in some cases good enough.