PCIe 7.0: Transfer speeds up to 512GB/s for the new interface

The interface PCI Expressonce taken into consideration only for video cards, is essential for current computers: it is used both for internal connection at the chipset level (integrated circuits), and for the communication of components such as CPUs and the connection of external devices such as video cards, SSD drives, network devices, and so on. PCIe 7.0 it is the most recent incarnation of the standard, a new version that promises to be even more performing.

Still working on PCIe 5.0 and 6.0

Still PCIe 5.0 it is not widespread that we are already talking about the subsequent iterations. In January 2022 the PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group), a consortium of companies operating in the electronics field which deals, among others, with the development of the PCI Express standard, had officially approved the PCIe 6.0 specifications. There wasn’t even time to weigh the new developments as there was already reference to a further leap forward.

The first models of PCIe 6.0 compatible hardware devices are still under development. For its part, PCI-SIG is also working on some no less important ancillary aspects.
Traditionally, we think of PCIe as a based interface bus that works on the printed circuit board. In fact, the standard has always allowed the use of as well cables. Due to PCB-level channel capacity limitations, PCI-SIG is expected to invest more heavily in PCIe support with newer PCIe releases. wired connections.
PCI-SIG is in fact also dedicating itself to drafting two cabling specifications, which should be ready for release by the end of 2023. These specifications will cover both PCIe 5.0 and PCIe 6.0. The internal wiring it would serve to connect devices to other parts within a system, both devices and motherboards, while external cabling would be used for system-to-system connections.

A look at the specs of PCIe 7.0, arriving in 2025

The PCIe 7.0 specification announcement came at the event PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2022 with which the organization responsible for this standard celebrated its 30th anniversary. As part of the process leading to the approval of final specificationsPCI-SIG approved PCIe 7.0 draft 0.3 in June 2023.

As was the case with previous standards, PCIe 7.0 once again doubles the bandwidth using a single generation leap. That means in one slot PCIe x16such as those used by discrete graphics cards, theoretical performance can be up to well 512 GB/s bidirectional. Performance which would lead SSD and Ethernet card manufacturers to bring even faster products to market.

With PCIe 7.0 the latency, increased reliability, availability and ease of maintenance (RAS) is ensured. Meeting the growing needs of the industry, PCIe 7.0 enables better I/O virtualization. Even the scheme of encodes PAM4 introduced with version 6.0 is improved to increase data transfer speeds.

Another leap forward should concern the physical dimensions of the bus which will be reduced. It is an aspect that would allow the design and production of smaller cards finally moving away from the bulky form factors that distinguish high-end discrete graphics cards. Provided of course to develop systems for the dissipation of heat more efficient.

As is often the case with new standards, PCIe 7.0 will initially come in solutions for data centers, industrial, automotive, military, and aerospace applications. It will not reach the market mainstream, therefore, still for several years. Also for we are talking about the release of definitive specifications during 2025.

The first commercial PCIe 7.0 products aren’t expected until at least 2027, underlining how much work that still needs to be done.

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