19 January 2004 Long Beach, CA Lightwave -- The Advanced Switching Interconnect Special Interest Group (ASI SIG) has released Version 1.0 of the Advanced Switching interconnect specification based on PCI Express interconnect technology. The specification is designed to enable makers of communications, storage, and embedded building blocks to begin implementing the standards-based, modular technology into their next-generation designs.
"Makers of the building blocks, such as chips and software, for complete solutions can now begin next-generation designs in earnest, for the first time taking advantage of the cost and time-to-market benefits of a standards-based modular approach," said Rajeev Kumar, president of the ASI SIG and Advanced Switching initiatives manager, Intel Corp. "A number of companies are already announcing plans for design tools, test equipment, and software and hardware to support the design process."
Kumar said he expects the first completed building blocks based on Advanced Switching to be on the market early next year and complete systems by the second half of 2005.
Advanced Switching is a standards-based switched-interconnect and data-fabric architecture based on PCI Express technology for connecting system boards and components in future generations of communications, storage, and embedded products. It offers developers a broad array of advanced communications features that traditionally would have required costly, time-consuming proprietary solutions.
"Advanced Switching specification marks the first time the communications industry can step away from the cumbersome and costly practice of developing proprietary methods for connecting processors and system boards for each design," said Kumar. "Advanced Switching opens the door to a modular era in communications equipment in which standards-based modular building blocks streamline the design process with its promise of reduced costs and quicker time to market."
The ASI SIG also announced completion of four subsidiary protocol interface specifications that complement the Advanced Switching standard by providing capabilities that traditionally have required development of proprietary switch fabrics. The first, PCI Express encapsulation, describes the standard tunneling scheme for moving PCI Express packets through an Advanced Switching backplane.
The three other protocols establish methods for moving data in specific applications. Simple load/store is an extension based on the PCI load/store method for transporting data in many communications applications that require specific addresses. Simple queuing is a method that utilizes queues, instead of specific addresses, for moving messages between sender and receiver, for storage and other communications applications. Socket data transport enables large blocks of data to be moved directly between memory devices without burdening a CPU in a manner similar to Remote Direct Memory Access, also for storage and other communications applications. The ASI SIG plans to introduce these protocol interface specifications later this quarter.