In this video, Kevin Burt of Samtec’s Optical Group explains one of Samtec’s product demonstrations at DesignCon 2017. The demo features a disaggregated computing platform with PCIe® Gen 3 fabric enabled by the patented FireFly™ mid-board optical technology.
PCIe® Over Fiber
PCIe® over Fiber technologies enable new and emerging HPC and Data Center architectures. Traditional systems place GPUs and system storage as close to the server and CPU as possible for optimized performance.
PCIe® over Fiber technologies leverage the high performance and low latency of the PCIe® protocol, but at distances of up to 100 meters when compared to traditional copper cable assemblies. This capability gives HPC/Data Center system designs more flexibility as they design next generation solutions.
You can watch the short video here.
The PCIe® protocol offers many benefits to today’s system designers not offered by other fabrics: low latency, power savings and guaranteed transmission. Traditionally, this protocol has been constrained to inside the box type applications, with some limited extension and expansion applications that use short, bulky copper cables.
Samtec’s FireFly™ based PCIe Over Fiber solution offers key features that solve the challenges of transmitting the PCIe protocol over longer links. The miniature size of Samtec’s high-density optical engines allows them to be easily designed into the downstream system, ultimately making these systems smaller. Highly flexible, small diameter, industry standard optical patch cords provide connection to the control system.
Other key features include:
- Gen 3 x4, scalable to x8 and x16 widths
- Support for PCIe® low power states
- Bidirectional auxiliary signals allow both transparent and non-transparent bridging
- High-performance signal quality with BER better than 1E-15
- Enables links up to 100 m
- Enables nontraditional FPGA/ASIC based endpoints
- Industry leading miniature footprint allows close placement to the IC, which enables lower drive voltages/pre-emphasis resulting in reduced power consumption
- Host/Target adaptor card supporting transparent and NTB links is in development