It seems not that long ago that motherboard vendors and graphics card makers were using PCIe Gen 3.0 as a marketing weapon to entice us to upgrade. In fact the Gen 3.0 standard was ratified in 2010 and came into being on actual hardware components a year after that. When it arrived it was largely superfluous to our needs, but fast forward to today and we find the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI SIG) are nearing completion of the Gen 4.0 specification. Which is good news because newer forms of storage are finally starting to encroach on the bandwidth limitations of PCIe 3.0. The issue was nicely summed up in this article from Raevenlord wring for TechPowerUp yesterday.
“Only recently, with innovations in storage mediums and innovative memory solutions, such as NVMe SSDs and Intel's Optane, are we starting to hit the ceiling on what PCIe 3.0 offers. Add to that the increased workload and bandwidth requirements of the AI field, and the industry now seems to be eager for an upgrade, with some IP vendors even having put out PCIe 4.0-supporting controllers and PHYs into their next-generation products already - although at the incomplete 0.9 revision.”
However, PCIe 4.0, with its doubled 64 GB/s bandwidth to PCie 3.0's comparably paltry 32 GB/s (yet more than sufficient for the average consumer), might be short lived in our markets. PCI-SIG is setting its sights on 2019 as the year for finalizing the PCIe 5.0 specifications; the conglomerate has accelerated its efforts on the 128 GB/s specification, which has already achieved revision 0.3, with an expected level of 0.5 by the end of 2017.”
Read the full article here on TechPowerUp.