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As the title suggests, can anyone make a custom board that connects via a pcie connector? Do you need to purchase the rights/license to use it or is it all open to the public? For example my use cases would be communicating with an fpga that's on a custom board as well as communication between two of said boards.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just do it. You are just scared by licences. \$\endgroup\$ – Marko Buršič Nov 12 '18 at 23:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you need to purchase the rights/lciense to use it or is it open to the public? I wasn't aware of someone "owning" PCIe architecture. Could you elaborate on this? \$\endgroup\$ – user103380 Nov 12 '18 at 23:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I search for more info on pcie I come across this: pcisig.com/specifications/pciexpress which implies to me that there is a central 'owner' per say of the standard. Am I wrong to be thinking that? Another thing that's making me think that I need the right to use it is that I I require to sign up but signing up asks me to choose from a set list of companies. Edit: I'm just checking because I'm afraid that if I were to sell this board I could be in legal trouble with some much larger group due to my use of pcie. \$\endgroup\$ – Drok_ Nov 12 '18 at 23:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean "make a device"? Do you mean custom ASIC, or else? Did you look into Xilinx FPGA offerings, xilinx.com/products/technology/pci-express.html ? Did you look into IDT, MosChip, Asix controllers? \$\endgroup\$ – Ale..chenski Nov 12 '18 at 23:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's getting into finer detail than I can remember for PCIe. If it's like USB a vendor ID is expensive, but a chip manufacturer (like Xilinx) will sell you a product ID under their vendor ID for cheap, because they want to sell chips. And again, if you're a hobbyist or you only sell ten a year or something, don't worry. \$\endgroup\$ – TimWescott Nov 13 '18 at 1:46
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You only absolutely need to pay money to PCI-SIG if you need your own vendor ID. If you’re using an FPGA, you can use the FPGA company’s vendor ID (for Xilinx, it’s 0x10EE).

Otherwise there’s no IP licensing to speak of. The specs are free download for PCI-SIG members, non-members pay a fee for them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But I need a vendor id of some sort correct, whether it's my own or the fpga company's? Or could I technically sell product without one without legal issues? \$\endgroup\$ – Drok_ Jul 9 '19 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you use a non-registered ID the kernel will just show as "unknown device", although it will still enumerate. Your custom driver can still find it in the device tree so not having an ID isn't a show-stopper for development. Typcially, you can use the Xilinx ID for their IP, and your own ID for subsystem ID, which does not have to be registered with PCI-SIG. In this way you can identify your own implementation from someone else's. \$\endgroup\$ – hacktastical Jul 9 '19 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks I'll have a look into that. \$\endgroup\$ – Drok_ Jul 9 '19 at 3:05

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