PCI Express (PCIe) is the latest standard for PC expansion cards and was designed to replace PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) standards. PCIe is used in consumer and industrial applications, including linking motherboard-mounted peripherals such as SATA drives, USB ports and sound cards and also as an expansion card for add-in boards.
The next advancement in the widespread PCIe standard is PCIe 3.0. The future standard will offer double the interconnect bandwidth of the previous generation, enabling higher data transfer speeds. PCIe 3.0 is currently in development by the PCI-SIG, the industry organization chartered to develop and manage the PCI standard, and is anticipated to be released in Q2 2010. PCIe 3.0 offers backward compatibility with previous generations of PCI technology, including software, clocking architecture and mechanical interfaces.
PCIe compliance tests are used for testing PCIe systems and add-in cards. The five PCI Express compliance test areas include electrical testing, configuration testing, link protocol testing, transaction protocol testing and platform BIOS testing. For PCIe 3.0 systems, add-in cards or devices to be placed on the Integrators List, the system or product must pass interoperability and compliance testing. Working with a third-party testing facility will ensure that the product or system can comply with PCI compliance testing.