By Kevin Krewell, Tirias Research
EETimes (July 17, 2019)
A veteran analyst surveys the landscape of competing positions Intel, IBM, Nvidia, Xilinx and others have staked out on top of the fast-moving PCI Express (PCIe).
PCIe Generation 4 is just beginning to hit the market in processors and GPUs, yet many companies are already anticipating PCIe Gen 5 within a couple of years and the specification for PCIe Gen 6 is in development. Amazingly enough, the PCI Special Interest Group (SIG) has set its goal to double data throughput in each of these generations, even as the industry pushes the limits of board and packaging technology. This is not an easy goal to achieve, but there's enough commitment and optimism by the PCI SIG members to maintain this pace.
The SIG announced PCIe 4.0 official compliance testing will be available this August. The PCIe Gen 4 spec supports 16 giga-transfers per second (GT/s) and the forthcoming Gen 5 doubles that to 32GT/s (using NRZ encoding). With PCIe Gen 6, the group plans to double the rate again to 64 GT/s per lane. To get to that speed, the committee chose to adopt the proven PAM4 signaling from the telecommunications industry for 56Gbits/s interfaces.
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