PCI Express 3.0 standard released

The brains behind PCI Express announced today the release of the PCI Express 3.0 standard.

The PCI Special Interest group who are responsible for the PCI family have promised the new release will make future hardware “fly."

PCIe 3.0 was meant to have been released in 2009 which, when the time came, was delayed until 2010. Come time for the rescheduled release, it was delayed yet again as a result of wanting to ensure it was compatible with both PCIe 1.0a and 2.0.

On the PCI-SIG website, which you can only view if you are a member of its special interest group, they describe PCIe architecture as being "interconnect attributes, fabric management, and the programming interface required to design and build systems and peripherals."

The PCIe 2.0 standard performed at five gigatransfers per second on each PCI Express lane, twice the amount over its predecessor 1.0a. The new 3.0 standard comes equipped with 8 GT/s – an impressive upgrade.

The upgrade equates to 1GB/s of bandwidth per lane which means 16GB/s for the high performance graphic cards which usually use a x16 slot. PCIe 2.0 is capable of 5 billion transfers per second whereas, because of the upgraded bus-based clock and an update from 8/10-bit to 128/130-bits (of data sent each second), it means 3.0 is capable of 8 billion GT/s.

Although announced today, we shouldn’t see PCIe 3.0 on controller chips or motherboards until next year. The likelihood is they will come in the late part of 2011, but when compared to previous adoption speeds, it's more likely to come in 2012.

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