PCI-SIG releases PCIe 4.0 specs, teases PCIe 5.0 performance
The PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) standard was first created in the early ‘90s and was used to connect add-on boards like sound and video cards to a PC processor. Original 3D accelerators like the ones from 3Dfx and Nvidia were launched on the PCI architecture. In the mid-late ‘90s, more complex accelerators were released, and PCI gave way to the AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) standard. This, in turn, was replaced by the PCI Express (PCIe) standard in 2004 and the industry has stuck to it ever since, as it can now improve bandwidths for storage solutions like the NVMe SSDs or network solutions like 10Gbe NICs.
Released in 2010, the most recent version for the PCIe specs is 3.x. The specs are approved by 750 members forming the PCI-SIG. The organization has recently released a new set of specs for the 4.0 version, which should be adopted until 2019 by all motherboard manufacturers. Even though the 3.0 specs were released back in 2010, PCI-SIG already teased some performance figures for the upcoming PCIe 5.0 standard, revealing that its integration should start as early as 2019.
PCIe 4.0 brings 64 GB/s bandwidths in x16 duplex running at 16 GHz. According to a blog post released by PCI-SIG CEO Al Yanes, PCIe 4.0 brings a series of improvements including:
• Extended tags and credits for service devices
• Reduced system latency
• Lane margining
• Superior RAS capabilities
• Scalability for added lanes and bandwidth
• Improved I/O virtualization and platform integration
The upcoming PCIe standard is set to bring bandwidths of 128 GB/s in X16 duplex running at 32 GHz. However, even if we already have the PCIe 4.0 specs, Intel most likely will not integrate these until mid-2019, and AMD stated that they plan to implement support for the 4.0 specs in 2020.