PCI Express 6.0 Bandwidth Revealed by PCI-SIG

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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. That’s 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.

PCIe 5.0 Arrives in 2021, PCIe 6.0 in 2025

In early June, the specifications for the upcoming 5th generation of the interface were completed. 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.

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.

Focus on Professional Market

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. In all these markets, the demand 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. We’ll have to wait and see whether SSDs and other devices will also be available to take advantage of the additional bandwidth at launch.

Press release

Jesper Berg

As a PC gaming enthusiast since the 3dfx Voodoo era, Jesper has had time to experiment with a fair few FPS-improving PC parts over the years. His job at GPCB is to test and evaluate hardware, mainly focusing on GPUs and storage devices.

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