Express9 & 9-G3
Express9 & 9-G3 - Header
VSN9 Series

Express 9 & 9-G3 Backplane

  1. Nine slot PCI Express backplane – 8 x4 lane slots plus 1 x8 lane slot
  2. One PICMG 1.3 SBC slot
  3. Compatible with a standard 4U IPC chassis
  4. Support for daisy chaining multiple backplanes

Express 9

  1. Supports 4GB/s full duplex links between backplanes using HLink-G3 and SLink-G3
  2. 48 lane PCIe 2.0 switch (5.0 Gb/s per lane)

Express 9-G3 Backplane

  1. Supports 8GB/s full duplex links between backplanes using HLink-G3 and SLink-G3
  2. 48 lane PCIe 3.0 switch
Express9 backplanes


The Datapath Express9 backplanes use advanced PCI Express switches to create a high bandwidth fabric that connects up to nine PCI Express plug-in cards into a host system.

The host can take the form of a Single Board Computer (SBC) which connects directly into the PICMG 1.3 system board slot of the Express9, creating a stand-alone 9 slot PC system. Alternatively a remote host can be connected into the Express9 backplane using Datapath's HLink-G3 and SLink-G3 products, transforming the Express9 into a 9 slot expansion backplane. Using multiple Express9 backplanes configured in expansion mode allows the construction of very large systems (up to 41 slots).

The Express9 backplanes provide nine 16-lane physical connectors, eight of which are electrically configured as 4-lane slots, and one of 8-lanes (slot 1). The eight lane slot can be used normally, or can accept a Datapath HLink-G3 board to extend the PCI Express bus, over eight lanes, onto a subsequent Express9 expansion board.

The Datapath Express9 uses PCIe 2.0 (Gen2) switching technology. The peak bandwidth available from the PICMG and slot 1 is 4 GB/s and the peak bandwidth from slots two to nine is 2 GB/s. The PICMG and the nine slots are all operating in bi-directional mode.

Express9 backplanes


The Datapath Express9-G3 uses PCIe 3.0 (Gen3) switches to boost the data bandwidths to 4 GB/s and 8 GB/s respectively. Even when the Express9-G3 is expected to be used with plug in cards that are only Gen1 or Gen2 rated, the additional bandwidth can still be used to provide a peak bidirectional bandwidth between backplanes of 8 GB/s (using the HLink-G3 and SLink-G3 board pair). When used in this way as part of a multi-chassis data wall system, for example, this link bandwidth eliminates the bottleneck between capture cards in one chassis and display cards in another chassis. As a guide, the 8GB/s bandwidth can handle approximately 14 full HD streams at 60 Hz and 32 bits per pixel in either direction.


Connecting multiple Express9 & Express9-G3 backplanes

Connecting multiple Express9 backplanes

Model Options

Product Name/Order Code Description
Express9 9 slot PCI Express Gen.2 Expansion backplane PCIe 2.0 switch
Express9-G3 9 slot PCI Express Gen.3 Expansion backplane PCIe 3.0 switch

Express9 & Express9-G3 Specification

Max Power (without SBC) 5W (Express9)
8W (Express9-G3)
Power Requirements Max current at +3.3V – 0.5A
Max current at +5V – 1.0A (1.5A for Express9-G3)
Form Factor ATX & PICMG mount compatible
Card Slots PICMG1.3 Host SBC interface
1 x PCIe (x8) expansion slot
8 x PCIe (x4) expansion slots
PSU Connections 4 x 24 pin ATX power connectors (Express9)
2 x 24 pin ATX power connectors (Express9-G3)
1 x 8 pin 12V AUX power input
1 x 8 pin
12V AUX power output local to SBC
(Express9-G3 provides voltage monitoring of all rails)
I/O Connections 2 x ports SATA 2 (from SBC via PICMG slot)
2 x ports USB 2.0 (from SBC via PICMG slot)
3 x 4-pin Fan headers (temp controlled)
Operating Temperature 0 to 35°C / 32 to 95°F
Storage Temperature -20 to 70°C / -4 to 158°F
Relative Humidity 5% to 90% non-condensing


We are continuously developing the technology used within our product ranges delivering outstanding innovative solutions, therefore the specification may change from time to time.

Related Products

Information on the Datapath PCI Express Optical Expansion Kit can be found here.

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