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 SXS-STRING is a target system adapter card for PCIe x4 external cabling. The board fits into the system slot of a CompactPCI® Serial backplane. Two on-board quad-port SATA 6G RAID controllers are used to distribute eight SATA channels across a CompactPCI® Serial backplane. Thus, up to eight SATA based CompactPCI® Serial peripheral slot cards in a target system can be controlled by a remote host system CPU, with a maximum PCI Express® transfer rate of 20GT/s. The SXS-STRING serves as a high performance SATA controller, suitable e.g. for configuring industrial storage systems.
The SXS-STRING 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.
The SXS-STRING must be inserted into the system slot of the CompactPCI® Serial target system. Being mainly a powerful SATA controller, the SXS-STRING is organized similar to a CompactPCI® Serial system slot controller card, however restricted to the SATA resources of the CompactPCI® Serial backplane.
The SXS-STRING is connected to the host system by a PCI Express® x4 front panel cabling connector. An on-board PCI Express® packet switch establishes dedicated PCIe links for two attached SATA controllers. Eight SATA channels in total are available via the relevant backplane connectors P1/P3, sufficient for up to eight SATA based CompactPCI® Serial peripheral cards in a target system. Since the SXS-STRING is equipped with two quad port SATA 6G controllers, the SATA devices of the CompactPCI® Serial target system are organized as 2 x 4 drives. Each controller can be individually configured for RAID level 0/1/10, or non-RAID operation.