Gennum Corporation (Gennum), a Canada-based designer of semiconductor solutions and intellectual property cores, has introduced two new PCIe products, GN1407 quad channel re-driver and the GN4121 local bus bridge. The new products are aimed at enabling high-speed embedded applications. The company’s entire portfolio of PCIe solutions will be featured in various embedded application demonstrations at Embedded World, held at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from March 3 to March 5, 2009.

The GN1407 quad channel re-driver and the GN4121 local bus bridge bring high performance solutions, up to 2X that of competing solutions to PCIe designers, providing more options as this high-performance interconnect increasingly migrates to embedded communications for servers, storage, broadcast video, industrial control, medical and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications.

“In the face of rising performance requirements in embedded applications, Gennum continues to broaden its offerings to deliver high-performance, easy-to-use solutions that enable designers to extend PCIe from traditional PCs into embedded applications,” said Bharat Tailor, director of marketing, Networking, Storage and Computing for Gennum. “By giving our customers more performance options at various price points that can scale with their application needs, they are able to select the ideal solution for their embedded applications. Indeed, with these scalable solutions, our customers are developing exciting new PCIe applications such as medical equipment and machine vision, along with traditional high-speed networking and broadcast systems.”

The new offerings join Gennum’s family of high-performance PCIe solutions and are pin compatible with Gennum’s GN1406, the industry’s first re-driver solution to integrate a clock and data recovery (CDR) capability, and the GN4124 PCIe bridge solution, the industry’s first four lane PCIe to local bus solution.

Gennum’s new GN1407 re-driver solution is ideal for applications where retiming functionality may not be required, specifically relatively short, well behaved channels, such as controlled impedance backplane interconnect, and PCIe cable interconnect. Moreover, the GN1407 is both PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 data rate-capable, supporting up to 8 gigabits per second (Gb/s), allowing users to “future proof” designs.

Gennum’s new GN4121 now provides a single lane option for designers so that even single lane PCIe applications can benefit from the ease of use and time to market advantages that characterize all of Gennum’s PCIe solutions. Applications such as PC- 104 Express IO cards, multi-media streaming and audio capture will benefit from a single lane solution, where existing FPGA-only solutions are expensive and require purchasing IP cores.

PCIe Continues Rapid Expansion into Embedded Applications:

“PCIe is one of the bright spots we see during this difficult economy, with good growth in PCIe interconnect and peripheral products expected over the next five years,” said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst, The Linley Group. “Manufacturers are anxious to bring new PCIe applications to market, such as DSP acceleration cards, high definition (HD) video capture and data acquisition cards, all of which we expect will migrate rapidly to PCIe over the next 24 months. With its new high-performance, low-cost solutions, Gennum can enable this migration and is therefore well positioned to capture a large share of these fast-growing markets.”

GN1407 Enables Engineers to Ensure High-performance PCIe Interconnect:

The GN1407 re-driver compensates for transmission loss that can occur at high data rates, maintaining PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 signal integrity over 40 inch FR4 trace and 7 meters 24 AWG twinaxial cables. A quad channel equalizer re-driver designed for 1.25 Gb/s to 8 Gb/s communication, the GN1407 delivers 19 programmable equalization settings from 0 to 24dB, more than twice the capability of competing solutions. The small footprint of the GN1407 enables designers to use it in cost-sensitive applications such as servers, storage area networking equipment, and serial backplane connectivity for communications infrastructure equipment. The device also supports OOB (out-of-band) signaling for SAS and SATA applications, such as storage and PC networks for connecting to external disk drives.

Delivering, high-speed data transmission up to 8 Gb/s at low power within acceptable error tolerances is a critical industry requirement. By having the PCIe 3.0 performance, designers can now develop their next generation systems based on PCIe 3.0 architecture, using the GN1407. At 70mW per channel power consumption, the GN1407 is a compelling low power solution compared to that of 100mW from competitors. As important, the GN1407’s high gain and significant flexibility delivers signal integrity margin so designers can address inter-system and intra-system interconnect for card-to-card backplane and chassis-to-chassis connectivity.

GN1407 also provides the highest level (255 programmable settings of 0 to 1250mVpp in steps of ~5mVpp) of built in output swing controls to obtain desired eye opening at the Rx point.

The GN1407 meets the PCI-SIG compliance requirements for a receiver. The high gain input equalizer compensates for large PCB trace or cable losses and provides a low jitter, high amplitude signal for down stream devices.

GN4121 Delivers Single-lane Local Bus Bridge Functionality, Eases Migration to PCIe:

Enabling designers to easily adopt PCIe, Gennum’s new GN4121 offers a single lane bridge solution for PCIe applications. Incorporating the PCIe physical layer and digital controller on-chip, the new GN4121 eliminates the need for this functionality to be integrated into a standalone, complex and expensive FPGA. This means designers gain access to a full-featured solution, with a typical 50 percent cost savings and a reduction in time to market by up to 80 percent. The single-lane GN4121 provides a lower bandwidth, lower cost option that is ideal for applications such as communications, industrial control, data acquisition, and video and audio streaming.

Having achieved compliance with the PCI-Special Interest Group (SIG), Gennum’s GN4121 bridging solution provides a low-risk path to PCI Express development. At the same time, the devices overcome the performance, power, and area drawbacks associated with legacy PCI bridges, and eliminate the need for large FPGAs and external PHYs which are often too power hungry, expensive or time consuming to design.