EKF Elektronik GmbH

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(Serial) Boards - IO

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 SX9-HOWL is a target system adapter card for PCIe x4 external cabling. The SX9-HOWL fits into the backplane system slot of a CompactPCI® Serial target system. Two on-board packet switches are used to replicate eight PCI Express® links across a CompactPCI® Serial backplane. Thus, up to eight PCIe based CompactPCI® Serial peripheral slot cards in a target system can be controlled by a remote host system CPU, with a maximum transfer rate of 20GT/s.
As an option, the SX9-HOWL is available with additional front panel I/O (2 x RJ45 GbE, 2 x USB 3.0).

The SX9-HOWL allows to control a CompactPCI® Serial target (downstream) system by a remote host CPU via PCI Express® external cabling. The host (upstream) system may be any computer with a PCI Express® external cabling adapter, not necessarily a CompactPCI® Serial system.
Being mainly a powerful PCI Express® packet switch, the SX9-HOWL is organized similar to a CompactPCI® Serial system slot controller card, however restricted to the PCI Express® resources of the CompactPCI® Serial backplane.
The SX9-HOWL is linked to the host system by a PCI Express® x4 front panel cabling connector (upstream), and delivers eight PCI Express® links to its backplane connectors (downstream), for up to eight CompactPCI® Serial peripheral cards in a target system. Three links/slots on the CompactPCI® Serial backplane are organized as x4, the other are single lane connections.
Hence, PCI Express® based devices in the target system can be controlled by the remote host system CPU in an identical manner as its local resources.