Microchip Technology Inc. recently introduced the XpressConnect family of low-latency PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 and Compute Express Link (CXLTM) 1.1/2.0 retimers.

As the high-performance computing demand and data center workloads increases, new ultra-low-latency signal transmission technology is required to enhance the performance in Advanced Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and other applications.

To address this requirement, Microchip Technology Inc. recently introduced the XpressConnect family of low-latency PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 and Compute Express Link™ (CXLTM) 1.1/2.0 retimers.

XpressConnect retimers increase the reach of PCIe Gen 5 electrical signals three times. The PCIe Gen 5 electrical signals allow data center equipment providers to achieve the next generational enhancement in computing IO performance. Thus, XpressConnect retimers offer the required connectivity and flexibility for advanced hardware architectures.

XpressConnect retimers offer ultra-low-latency signal transmission that allows the most demanding computational workloads in ML, AI, communication systems, and high-performance computing applications.

Andrew Dieckmann, Associate Vice President (AVP), Marketing/Applications, Data Center Solutions Division at Microchip Technology Inc., commented: “With increasing storage, compute and memory bandwidth demands, hyperscale data center, server and storage providers have continued to look to Microchip for leading compute, storage and memory connectivity solutions.”

He further added, “Microchip is uniquely positioned to deliver seamless interoperability with XpressConnect retimers given our extensive portfolio of PCIe Switchtec and Flashtec products and our close relationships with industry partners, providing lower engineering costs and faster time to market for our customers.”

The XpressConnect Group offers extended reach at greater than 80% lower latency than the PCIe specification, with a pin-to-pin latency of fewer than ten nanoseconds. XpressConnect retimers are present in numerous lane count variants of up to 16 lanes of PCIe Gen 5 to associate with an exclusive range of CXL and PCIe devices. Also, it supports optical cables and passive copper and comprises high-reliability features, including surprise-plug and hot-plug.

To allow rapid time to market for consumers, Microchip has collaborated with Intel to build an XpressConnect reference layout in a standard riser card. It will be available for consumers at Intel’s Resource and Design Center.

Further, it helps ChipLink diagnostic and development tooling to lessen engineering development costs. XpressConnect offers a cost-efficient solution for riser card, motherboard, cable, and backplane use cases by allowing system integrators to use low-cost cables and board materials.

Jim Pappas, Director of Technology Initiatives at Intel Corporation, commented: “PCIe 5.0 and CXL will enhance the workload performance and capabilities of Intel’s future Xeon Scalable processor code-named ‘Sapphire Rapids.’ As with all new standards, adoption of PCIe 5.0 and CXL will be dependent on validation and interoperability delivered by industry leaders.”

He further added, “Microchip and Intel have a long history of collaboration on PCIe solutions, and we are excited to continue our joint efforts to deliver a robust ecosystem that enables easy adoption of next-generation PCIe 5.0 and CXL 1.1/2.0 solutions with low-latency retimers.”

Barry McAuliffe, CXL President, commented: “Microchip is a key contributor to the CXL Consortium, both as a CXL board member and participant in the technical working groups developing CXL specification.” He further added, “Microchip’s XpressConnect low-latency retimers are a welcome addition to the CXL ecosystem.”

Microchip introduced several development tools to support consumers’ building systems that benefit from the high-bandwidth of PCIe Express 5.0 and low-latency connectivity of CXL 1.1/2.0. ChipLink diagnostic GUI by Microchip is utilized across all Microchip’s data center products to offer extensive debug, forensics, diagnostics, and configuration tools.