GX1 - PCI Express Switch or Switch Fabric Board

The GX1 offers a cost-effective PCIe Gen 3 switching solution via the CompactPCI Serial backplane. It comes with Express Switch or Express Fabric functionality. Some typical industrial applications include multi-CPU high speed video and image processing, supercomputing and virtualization. The GX1's final configuration depends on the end application. It is only available within a project context and cannot be ordered as a single standard product.

High-Speed Connection

The GX1 enables high speed serial point-to-point communication between the CPUs and between the CPUs and end point modules. Configurable data transfer rates can reach up to 985 MB/s per PCIe lane.

Flexible Configuration of Multi-Processor Systems

The switch allows connection of multiple endpoints and multiple CPUs. This way, it is possible to build powerful and cost-effective multi-processor systems. The switch ports can be configured flexibly using an application running on the root complex CPU. This way, the switch can be adapted to different backplane designs. No programming is required to set up the ports. Setup and diagnostics tools are available from the chip manufacturer.

Express Switch Functionality

The GX1 supports both multi-root and multi-host configuration. For multi-root configuration, the GX1 can be partitioned into four fixed virtual bridges supporting up to four root complexes. Each root complex is allowed to enumerate its own endpoints. Non-transparent bridging is not required in this case. For multi-host configuration, the primary host CPU is acting as a root complex enumerating all the endpoints and up to two additional secondary host CPUs connected over two non-transparent bridges. In this configuration, all host CPUs are able to communicate with all endpoints. Using the non-transparent bridging the primary CPU is able to share control, status and interrupt information with the secondary hosts. This allows more efficient load sharing in data intensive computing applications.

Express Fabric Functionality

GX1 can also be equipped with an Express Fabric chip which is especially suitable for complex non-hierarchical PCI Express topologies such as Mesh and Fat Tree. It supports single-root I/O virtualization which means that I/O can be shared among multiple hosts similar to the way Virtual Machines (VMs) share a piece of hardware on the same host. Express Fabric makes it possible to use more than 3 CPU boards in one configuration. The hosts communicate via Ethernet-like DMA.


  • 64-Lane, 16-Port Express Switch or 65-Lane, 17-Port Switch Fabric
  • PCI Express Generation 3 switching over CompactPCI Serial
  • 985 MB/s per lane for each point-to-point serial link
  • Programmable configuration of PCIe ports according to backplane design
  • Software tools for diagnostics and performance monitoring
  • Dedicated upstream links for multiple CPUs
  • Multicast / broadcast capability
  • Product configuration depending on project


PCI Express Switch Features
  • 64 lanes, 16 ports
  • PCIe 3.x support
  • Data rate up to 985 MB/s for each point-to-point serial link (8 GT/s per lane)
PCI Express Switch Fabric Features
  • 65 lanes, 17 ports
  • PCIe 3.x support
  • Data rate up to 985 MB/s for each point-to-point serial link (8 GT/s per lane)
Front Interfaces
  • 13 PCI port activity LEDs
  • 1 LED signaling fatal error reported by switch
Rear Interfaces
  • Up to 65 PCI Express lanes on the CompactPCI Serial rear connectors
  • Flexibly configurable to x4 or x8 links
  • One I2C interface
Backplane Standard
Requires custom CompactPCI Serial backplane with PCI Express switch slot
Electrical Specifications
  • Isolation voltage:
    • 1500 V DC front panel (shield) connections to ground
  • Supply voltage
    • +12 V (-5%/+5%)
  • Power consumption
    • 28 W typ, 34 W max. (estimated)
Mechanical Specifications
  • Dimensions: conforming to CompactPCI Serial specification for 3U boards
  • Front panel: 4 HP with ejector
  • Weight:
    • 178 g (w/o heat sink)
    • 380 g (with heat sink)
Environmental Specifications
  • Temperature range (operation)
    • 0°C to +60°C
    • Airflow: min. 1.5 m/s
  • Temperature range (storage): -40°C to +85°C
  • Relative humidity: according to EN 60068-2-30
  • Altitude: -300 m to +3000 m
  • Shock: according to EN 61373 cat 1, class B
  • Vibration: according to EN 61373 cat 1 class B
  • Conformal coating on request
MTBF: tbd h @ 40°C according to IEC/TR 62380 (RDF 2000)
  • Flammability (PCBs)
    • UL 94 V-0
  • Electrical Safety
    • EN 62368-1 (former EN 60950-1)
  • EN 55022 class B (radiated and conducted emission)
  • EN 55024 (immunity)
Software Support
3rd party tool from chip manufacturer (PLX SDK)