Rambus introduces complete, integrated PCI Express solution

Los Altos (CA) - Rambus wants a bigger slice of the quickly growing PCI Express market. The company today announced that it is adding a logic controller to its existing physical PCI Express layer and now offers a complete interface solution that, for example, can be adopted by graphics card developers.

Rambus is not just about memory. For some time now, the IP company has been busy diversifying its revenue sources, which include also a variety of interfaces for storage and networking applications. Two months ago, the company entered the PCI Express business with an announcement that its physical layer IP tech has passed PCI Express compliance testing with the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG). The physical layer, however, only provides just a serial link interface; the logic controller announced today completes the package with an application interface.

Jean-Marc Patenaude, director of marketing for the Platform Solutions Group at Rambus, believes that the complete package will appeal to firms that do not quite have Intel-sized developer resources and expect a reliable product. "When you have to deal with different parts of different sources, then there is always the risk that the devices do not work together, he said." As with all of its products, Rambus licenses the blueprint of its technology, assists in product design and preparation for manufacturing, but does not plan to produce a chip.

This development support for example includes a "PCI Express Evaluation Kit", consisting of a pre-built PCI Express board and testing software. According to Patenaude, the platform can accelerate hardware development by allowing product designers for example to develop drivers, optimize performance and test a device in a target application environment before they have their own silicon in hand. Rambus also said that it operates a validation system for its technology to ensure interoperability and simulate "real" world implementations.