Most computer systems are based on the PCI Express® standard as a high speed backbone for interconnection of peripheral components with a host CPU. Typically all PCI Express® based devices are located closely in a common enclosure.
The PCI-SIG PCI Express® External Cabling Specification addresses extended applications, such as split-systems or I/O expansion by means of a suitable copper cable, available e.g. for a x4 PCI Express® link, up to 7m length. When used with an AOC (Active Optical Cable), distances of up to 300m can be bridged between host and target systems. The SX2-SLIDE is a CompactPCI® Serial host adapter card for PCIe x 4 external cabling. The board is provided with two PCIex4 front panel connectors, for attachment of one ore two remote target systems via PCI Express® x 4 links. The SX2-SLIDE has been designed for operation in a CompactPCI® Serial fat pipe slot (PCIe x 8), but will also work in standard peripheral slot (PCIe x 4 preferred). The on-board PCIe packet switch splits the upstream link (x 8 or x 4) into two equal downstream links (x 4), each delivering up to 20GT/s to an associated target system. Dual clocking is provided on the SX2-SLIDE, which allows usage of CFC cables (such as AOC) in a SSC host system.
The SX2-SLIDE allows to control a remote PCI Express® based target (downstream) system by a CompactPCI® Serial host CPU via PCI Express® external cabling. The target system may be any PCI Express® based hardware with an external cabling adapter, not necessarily a CompactPCI® Serial system. By means of the SX2-SLIDE, a CompactPCI® Serial system backplane, with respect to its PCI Express® resources, can be virtually extended. Hence, PCI Express® based devices in a remote target system can be controlled by the CompactPCI® Serial host system CPU in an identical manner as its local resources.