Request Information for PCIe Connectivity Subsystems

PCIe Connectivity

The Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) standard currently in its fifth generation (Gen5) is an I/O interconnect technology defined by PCI-SIG. It is a layer based protocol that for software is fully backwards compatible to the PCI Local Bus standard which is replaced by PCIe.

With the combination of cost-efficient high-speed serial IO and PCIe hard-IP blocks FPGAs can be connected to CPUs or GPUs or System-on-Chips (SoC) - or to other FPGAs to form a high-bandwidth, low-latency network in various topologies.

To de-risk PCIe MLE offers various hardware/software subsystems comprising open source Linux device drivers and pre-integrated FPGA reference designs.

Linux PCIe Stream Framework for Xilinx

PCIe as a hardware/software interface when combined with AXI4-Streaming suggests using a Streaming Dataflow architecture. This is also known as  Producer / Consumer or FIFO-In / FIFO-Out and uses so-called Blocking Reads and Blocking Writes for interfaces. Because AXI4-Streaming implements back-pressure / flow-control, a Blocking Read waits until there is data to be received, and a Blocking Write waits with sending more data in case FIFOs are full.

Our PCIe Stream Framework for Xilinx FPGAs is a complete hardware/software subsystem comprising Linux device drivers (open source) and Xilinx PCIe function blocks, all delivered as a reference design (Xilinx Vivado project including all necessary TCL scripts, instantiating Xilinx catalogue IP, tested / synthesized on Xilinx Vivado Version 2017.4 and targeted to the Xilinx VCU118 Devkit).

Our Linux PCIe Stream Framework supports the Xilinx PCIe hard-IP for Xilinx 7-series family, or newer.

PCIe Non-Transparent Bridging (NTB)

NTB stands for Non-Transparent Bridge. Unlike in a PCIe (transparent) Bridge where the RC “sees” all the PCIe busses all the way to all the Endpoints, an NTB forwards the PCIe traffic between the separate PCIe busses like a bridge. Each RC sees the NTB as an Endpoint device but does not see the other RC and devices on the other side. Means, everything behind the NTB is not directly visible to the particular RC, thus “Non-Transparent”.

MLE's patent pending NTB technology is provided as a complete hardware/software subsystem comprising Linux drivers for NTB with a network device API plus readily instantiated PCIe Endpoint plus an on-chip AXI4-Stream switching fabric.  It has been optimized for embedded applications such as automotive ECUs which typically are limited to maximum of 4 PCIe lanes. By borrowing performance techniques from NVM Express such as ring-buffers and posted-writes we can deliver a high-bandwidth, low-latency yet resource-efficient implementation.

The MLE NTB supports the Xilinx PCIe hard-IP as well as soft-IP cores XpressRICH Controller IP for PCIe 3.1/3.0 (or newer) from PLDA or the Expresso Core from Northwest Logic.

 

PCIe Long-Range Tunnel

Based on a combination of network protocol acceleration technology from German Fraunhofer HHI and patent pending technology from MLE you can now extend the range of your PCIe connectivity well beyond the 12 inches supported by the standard and without the need to costly PCIe cables.

Our FPGA-based subsystem supports the Xilinx PCIe hard-IP as well as soft-IP cores XpressRICH Controller IP for PCIe 3.1/3.0 (or newer) from PLDA or the Expresso Core from Northwest Logic.

 

Availability

 PCIe Connectivity subsystems (as an IP core or a reference design) is available for the following FPGA families:

Click here to check the availability for your target device

 

Datasheets and Documentation

Please refer to these Technical Documents to learn more aboutour PCIe Connectivity subsystems:

 

Fraunhofer HHI

Founded in 1949, the German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society. With a workforce of over 23,000, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is Europe’s biggest organization for applied research, and currently operates a total of 67 institutes and research units. The organization’s core task is to carry out research of practical utility in close cooperation with its customers from industry and the public sector.

Fraunhofer HHI was founded in 1928 as "Heinrich-Hertz-Institut für Schwingungsforschung“ and joined in 2003 the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as the "Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut„. Today it is the leading research institute for networking and telecommunications technology, “Driving the Gigabit Society” .