9. PCI Express Case Study

When this book went to press, the PCI ExpressTM specification was five years old, and the 5.0 Gbps upgrade had just been published. Like DDR2, its market penetration has given PCI Express a place in the portfolios of many signal integrity engineers. This makes it an ideal candidate for a case study.

Our team recently shipped a product that marries a high-performance graphics processor with 5 GB of memory on a PCI Express add-in card. Packaging density and cooling forced us to depart from the well-known design guidelines. When we find ourselves at the crossroads of a project and the team is looking to us for input on a critical decision point, we have three possible choices:

• Invoke the gods, and just say no.

• Be a ...

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