PCI Express 6.0 Bandwidth Revealed by PCI-SIG

At this writing, PCI Express 4.0 is just about to launch, and the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) only recently announced the specifications for PCI Express 5.0. Not to be held back, the group has now announced what specification PCI Express 6.0 will aim for.

The PCI Express (PCIe) 4.0 interface will find its way to the consumer market in July 2019, when AMD launches its 3rd-generation Ryzen processors along with motherboards equipped with the X570 chipset. This will lift the performance cap on devices that use the interface, most notably including SSDs. As previously mentioned, Gigabyte will be one of the first manufacturers to take advantage of the improved bandwidth.

In early June, the specifications for the upcoming 5th generation of the interface were completed, and this iteration is expected to reach the market sometime in 2021. PCI-SIG is obviously still hard at work, however, as the organization has already uncovered the specifications for the 6th generation of the internal component interface.

PCIe-6 timeline

Much like the 5th generation, which will (again) double the speeds that we are currently looking forward to in the 4.0 revision, PCI Express 6.0 will double the bandwidth once again. This means that a PCIe 6.0 x16 connection will have a bandwidth of up to 256 GB/s and the bitrate increases to 64 GT/s from the fifth generation’s 128 GB/s and 32 GT/s, respectively

PCI-SIG’s motivation behind announcing the specifications for future generations of the interface so early is not primarily for the benefit of individual system builders who are looking for additional storage bandwidth. Instead, the organization’s enthusiasm is mainly directed at markets such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data centers – markets whose demands for bandwidth and performance are rising on a daily basis.

PCI Express 6.0 is expected to be fully completed and ready for launch in 2021. It remains to be seen whether SSDs and other devices will also be available to take advantage of the additional bandwidth at launch.

Press release

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