Just recently I had a client asking us why we added 4 PCI slots to our new line of Q87 motherboards. Interesting question, as Intel and the commercial world very quickly adopted the PCI-Express as the de-facto standard for their products. The PCI Express is definitely the next evolutionary step for the PCI bus, simplifying the design, and increasing speed, but does this also apply to the embedded, medical or industrial automation world? I would answer that it depends… Most of the industrial customers have at least one custom PCI card or controller that is vital to their system. If they migrate to PCI Express, they are faced with redesign, re-qualification and/or re-certification costs (and that can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars). Considering that the majority of the Intel Embedded chipsets do not have enough PCI Express lanes for an ATX board, it makes sense to add a PCI-Express to PCI Bridge that allows customers to use their legacy devices, with little to no need to re-qualify or re-certify them.
It’s common sense, right? We decided to add one small chip that allows for up to 4 PCI devices, instead of forcing our customers to redesign their cards to be PCI Express compatible.
We frequently run into clients that appreciate our devotion to legacy interfaces, many times catching them right before having to redesign their cards. At Corvalent we customize cutting edge circuit boards while still remembering that you didn’t open your doors yesterday.
How long do you plan to use 32 Bit PCI for your application? If so, how many 32 Bit PCI slots do you need?