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Tundra ships first RapidIO interconnect silicon

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Tundra has begun sampling the first commercially available RapidIO system interconnect silicon, in the form of a PCI-X bridge and a multi-port switch.

Tundra also announced the first commercially available RapidIO hardware interoperability platform (HIP) mobo. The board will be manufactured by US-based IneoQuest Technologies. The HIP is an open standard that developers adopted as the RapidIO interoperability and component-testing platform.

Tundra's Tsi400 connects PCI and PCI-X devices to RapidIO devices. The interconnect is effectively transparent to software, allowing RapidIO-based systems to exploit legacy components and code.

The Tsi500 multi-port switch contains four 8-bit, full duplex, double data rate RapidIO interfaces and is essentially a communications hub for RapidIO devices, including processors, memory, graphics, InfiniBand fabrics and other I/O.

Each RapidIO interface has performance monitoring capabilities that enable the Tsi500 to observe data traffic and gather statistics on each interface. The performance monitoring capabilities optimize system efficiency by highlighting areas of improvement in the system, hardware design and traffic flow.

RapidIO is a next-generation system bus for embedded systems and is backed by Motorola and IBM, among others. RapidIO support is a key part of both companies' processor roadmaps going forward. Like HyperTransport and PCI-Express, RapidIO is a high speed, point-to-point, packet-switched bus. Initially, RapidIO will provide 10Gbps aggregate device bandwidth using 8-bit wide input and output data ports, but the low-voltage differential signaling technology used by RapidIO has the capability to scale to multi-GHz speeds, and the port width can scale to 16-bits and beyond.

Tundra has been Motorola's system interconnect design partner since September 2000, leaving Motorola to concentrate on processors while Tundra gets on with system interconnect logic. Motorola developed RapidIO in the first place.

Tsi400 samples cost $39 in batches of 10,000, and the Tsi500 costs $59 in the same quantities. Both parts are available now. The HIP board is due to ship next month, for $2499. ®

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