Design and implementation of a high-speed PCI-Express bridge
Abstract: This master thesis will cover the prestudy, hardware selection, design and implementation of a PCI Express bridge in the M.2 form factor. The thesis subject was proposed by WISI Norden who wished to extend the functionality of their hardware using an M.2 module. The bridge fits an M-Key M.2 slot and has the dimensions 80x22 mm. It is able to communicate at speeds up to 8 Gb/s over PCI Express and 200 Mbit/s on any of the 20 LVDS/CMOS pins. The prestudy determined that an FPGA should be used and a Xilinx Artix-7 device was chosen. A PCB was designed that hosts the FPGA as well as any power, debugging and other required systems. Associated proof-of-concept software was designed to verify that the bridge operated as expected. The software proves that the bridge works but requires improvement before the bridge can be used to translate sophisticated protocols. The bridge works, with minor hardware modifications, as expected. It fulfills all design requirements set in the master thesis and the FPGA firmware uses a well-established protocol, making further development easier.
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