Back in 2016 Avago/Broadcom greatly increased the prices of its PLX-branded PCIe switches, which caused many motherboard manufacturers to cease using them. Avago’s motivation was rather obvious — PCIe switches are needed primarily in servers and should be priced accordingly. Meanwhile, there is still demand for such devices in desktops as well, so other manufacturers are vying to enter the PCIe switch space.

Apparently, both ASMedia and Marvell are preparing their own PCIe switches. We already reported about Marvell’s 88NR2241 PCIe 3.0 x8 to two PCIe 3.0 x4 ports switch in our Plextor coverage earlier this month. Meanwhile ASMedia’s ASM2824 is in the final stages of development: the company has received the chip back from the fab and is currently testing it both internally and with its partners.

ASMedia’s ASM2824 has a PCIe 3.0 x8 upstream port as well as four PCIe 3.0 x4 downstream ports. The switch is designed primarily for storage devices, enabling installation of four NVMe drives on a single card.

ASMedia does not disclose pricing of its PCIe switch, but keeping in mind that it will have competitors from Avago/Broadcom as well as Marvell, I'm hopeful that ASMedia will not be charging too much for its switch. As for availability, expect ASMedia to launch the ASM2824 in the coming months .

Want to keep up to date with all of our Computex 2018 Coverage?
 
Laptops
 
Hardware
 
Chips
 
Follow AnandTech's breaking news here!
POST A COMMENT

19 Comments

View All Comments

  • bobj3832 - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    I worked at IDT when they sold their PCI-E flash controller and PCIE-E switch business to PMC Sierra. Then PMC Sierra was acquired by Microsemi. It looks like Microsemi is still selling them. I always felt the demand for the switches was low which is why they bundled it in the sale with the more valuable flash controller business.

    https://www.microsemi.com/product-directory/809-ic...
    Reply
  • Duncan Macdonald - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    Not needed for AMD EPYC servers (128 PCIe lanes) or Threadripper desktops (64 PCIe lanes). Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    Even in AMDland, still useful for mainstream Zen, with only 24 3.0 lanes (and 6 2.0 lanes on the chipset). Because the chipset lanes are only 2.0 speed, it would need something like this to connect 3 m.2 PCIe SSDs while still supporting an x16 GPU; something that Intel's recent LGA11xx chipsets have done out of the box. Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    I do hope that ASMedia and Marvell's entry will mean enthusiast and workstation boards start using them to expand the pitiful amount for Ryzen and Intel offerings, as all current boards have limitations that sacrifice slots and devices when one thing or another is in use. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    This is exactly what differentiated the X470 and Z490 chipsets for Ryzen - a PCI-E switch. Unfortunately it ended up costing too much. Reply
  • npz - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    Still useful for Threadripper or Epyc if you don't want to waist an entire 16x slot on one device that uses less lanes. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    Yes there is! Have you not seen the new 1U servers from SuperMicro for example with all NVMe M.3 slots? With 16TB QLC NAND per slot, they can have 1PB per 1U. Even with EPYC, you'll still need some switching. This is one aspect of PCIe 5.0, where x1 lane becomes quite enough for each storage device. But at 3.0, or even 4.0, we're still at either x4 or x2, thus still need lots of lanes and/ore switches, beyond just 128. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    Heck yeah! I love the quad NVMe M.2 boards but only one exists (at x8) that has a switch on it. The rest need slot bufrication. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    bifurcation* Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now