One of Samtec’s key demonstrations at SC21 featured Samtec’s new PCIe® 4.0 over fiber solutions. The demo highlighted Samtec’s PCIe®-Over-Fiber FireFly™ Adapter Card (PCOA Series), developed by our partner Dolphin.
The PCOA series utilizes Samtec’s PCI Express®-Over-Fiber FireFly™ Optical Cable Assemblies (PCUO series). Samtec is the only company in the world offering reset functionality and cable present sidebands in this form factor.
In HPC and data centers system architectures, common applications link PCIe 4.0 hosts with Non-Volatile Memory Storage Endpoints (NVMe) either directly or via copper cable assemblies. However, the Samtec/Dolphin demo illustrates remote connections via 100 m fiber optics cables assemblies.
Surprise Hot Add
One of the new features of the adapter card is the capability to do a surprise hot add. A surprise hot add feature allows a new resource to be added to a system that is already running. The resource can be a storage device, camera, or a GPU or an FPGA.
This allows a new resource to be added and be available without shutting down the server. Without the surprise hot add, the host needs to be rebooted to enumerate and find the PCIe devices attached to the server.
This allows designers to add devices on-the-fly, and when the device is restarted, it does so with zero errors.
One of the key trends driving interest in PCIe 4.0 over fiber optics is the introduction of PCIe 4.0 servers and workstations. Engineers and designers want to develop systems that can extend high-speed PCIe over longer distances.
PCOA Adapater Card, PCUO Optial FireFly Cable Assembly
One of the key solutions that Samtec offers in conjunction with our partner Dolphin is our PCOA adapter card. This adapter card is positioned in a work station or server and converts the PCIe signals from the electrical domain to the optical doman, and back again.
Samtec’s new PCIe 4.0 adapter card doubles the speed over the PCie 3.0 adapter card and easily plugs into any PCIe slot. It utilizes Samtec’s PCUO FireFly optical cable assemblies and supports PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 platforms. PCOA is available in x16, x8, dual x8, x4, dual x4 and quad x4 configurations, and is available with transparent or non-transparent bridging.
PCUO meets PCI Gen 4.0 and Gen 3.0 specifications, and transfers data in both directions, over 100 meters.
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