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Sep 30 2010

PCIe 3.0 Here at Last: Welcome to the Future of PCI Testing

The long-awaited PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 specification standard is set to arrive in November, opening the doors for a new wave of products featuring faster interconnect speeds. Consumer products using the PCIe 3.0 are expected to arrive as early as the second half of next year.

The PCI Express 3.0 specification will define operating speeds of up to 8 gigatransfers per second (GTps), delivering a significant boost from the 5 GTbps defined by PCIe 2.0. It also offers 128- and 130-bit encoding schemes, improving efficiency from the current 8- and 10-bit format and leaving nearly the entire bandwidth free for signal processing. Other new features include Dynamic Feedback Equalization (DFE), a sophisticated technique in electrical signaling designed to maintain signal integrity. The updated specification is expected to aid the growth of faster PCIe switches, 40Gbit Ethernet chips, high-end graphics cards, and solid-state drives (SSDs). PCIe 3.0 is fully backward compatible with previous generations of PCI technology. The chart below shows how the new standard compares to older PCI specifications.

PCI Testing Table
PCI-SIG, the industry organization chartered to develop and manage the PCI standard, will issue tools to validate designs and start will launch interoperability testing workshops in mid-2011, with specification testing for PCIe 3.0 expected to be completed late next year. We will keep you posted on developments about this exciting specification update as they become available.

Learn More:
PCI Express 3.0 Doubles PCIe speed, New tests to follow