TI Demonstrates Modular PC Design

From TI’s press release:

Further strengthening its commitment to PCI Express architecture development and deployment, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) announced today the demonstration of a Split-Chassis PC platform at the Windows Hardware Engineering 2004 Conference (WinHEC 2004) in Booth #207. The Split-Chassis PC platform is made possible by TI´s new XIO2000 PCI-Express-to-PCI Bridge device. At the heart of the demonstration, is an x1 PCI Express interface running over a cable, supporting full PCI Express performance of 2.5Gbps bi-directional throughput. (See www.ti.com/pciexpress for more information.)

“Although the concept of a Split-Chassis PC (or Modular PC) has been discussed within the industry for several years, today we are demonstrating the practical implementation of such a system enabled by PCI Express running over a cable, while providing 2.5Gbps of performance in both the upstream and downstream direction,” said Dan Jensen, systems engineering manager at TI.

Meeting Consumers´ Ergonomic Needs and Delivering High Performance

This development will enable OEMs to begin moving platform mechanical designs in line with ergonomic environments of everyday users. Desktop platforms today are typically placed on the floor, as far away from the user as practical, with the intention of trying to hide the desktop tower from the user´s surroundings. Users are ready for devices that they interface with on a regular basis to be moved to the table top, while keeping the often bulky, loud and unattractive desktop tower hidden from sight.

“Many times users find themselves under a desk at the back of the PC trying to find an available USB, 1394 (FireWire) or some other type of connector, then trying to determine which direction to insert the plug,” said Jensen. “A Split-Chassis system, like what we are demonstrating, shows how an OEM can design a platform that meets a user´s ergonomic needs without compromising performance. This concept also allows OEMs to ´upgrade and differentiate´ platforms more effectively without modifying the main system board, helping to minimize the desktop clutter.” 

With Split-Chassis designs, consumers can choose to upgrade performance of their system at one time and then choose to upgrade the I/O capability of their system at another. Out of pocket expenses are therefore spread out over time, while keeping current with the latest system performance and I/O capabilities.

The TI Split-Chassis PC platform demonstration includes a desktop tower with the PCI Express x1 interface to the Split-Chassis I/O Hub running over a cable. The Split-Chassis I/O Hub incorporates TI´s XIO2000 PCI Express-to-PCI Bridge device, which is connected to a USB Host Controller, Parallel ATA Controller and the TI PCI7621 UltraMedia Controller. The demonstration supports simultaneous active connections between main system memory and the I/O connections in the Split-Chassis I/O Hub – all enabled by the high-performance capabilities of PCI Express.

“What is unique about this demonstration is that for the first time we have been able to extend the full performance of the primary I/O System Bus outside of the standard Desktop Chassis by leveraging the capabilities of PCI Express,” said Jensen.

TI´s Commitment to PCI Express

In addition to helping OEMs meet this ergonomic consumer demand, TI´s commitment to PCI Express focuses on a complete portfolio of products built for the PCI Express architecture, enabling chip-to-chip interconnect, I/O interconnect for adapter cards and an I/O attach point to other interconnects such as PCI, 1394 (FireWire) and USB. Other planned products include PCI Express switch and physical layer devices, as well as devices supporting the “ExpressCard” specification (formerly known as “Newcard”), a small form factor successor to PC Card. These, along with existing TI devices such as CardBus, 1394 and USB, will provide designers a complete portfolio of interface options from TI.

Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.

Need more from your conference white board? The Surface Hub 2 should have it

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

Intel teases 9th-generation Core i9 mobile processors at GDC 2019

Intel teased its new 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processors at GDC 2019. The company offered few specifics about the hardware, but a leak from late February provides insight into what the new processors might offer.

Give your MacBook Air some added style with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers, and padded sleeves priced from $10 to $130. Happy shopping!

Intel Command Center lays foundation for next year’s ‘Arctic Sound’ GPU

Intel revealed its new Command Center driver software at GDC 2019. The updated interface will control current Intel integrated graphics and also lays the groundwork for next year's Intel video card.

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

G-Sync and FreeSync can make your games look better, but which is best?

There are some subtle differences between the two adaptive refresh technology offerings, and they affect cost, performance, and compatibility. Nvidia may have released it's feature first, but in recent years AMD has stepped up to the plate…

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.