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PCI Express 3.0: The Timeline

PCI Express 3.0: On Motherboards By This Time Next Year?
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Al Yanes, president and chairman of PCI-SIG, and Ramin Neshati, chairman of the PCI-SIG Serial Communications Workgroup, addressed the current timeline of PCI Express 3.0 development.

On Wednesday, June 23rd, PCI Express 3.0 revision 0.71 was released. Yanes stated that the 0.71 release marks what is believed to be the resolution of the backward compatibility issues that had caused an initial delay. Neshati described the primary compatibility issue as “DC wandering,” which he explained as PCI Express 2.0 and earlier devices “not having enough zeros and ones” to satisfy the demands of the PCI Express 3.0 interface.

Now that the backward compatibility issues are resolved, the PCI-SIG says it is on track for the base release of the 0.9 revision “later this summer.” This is expected to be followed by the base release of revision 1.0 in the fourth quarter of this year. 

Of course, the most pressing question is when can we can expect to see PCI Express 3.0-based motherboards on store shelves. Neshati stated that he expects to see initial products in the first quarter of 2011 (the “FYI” triangle on the Timeline image). 

Neshati added that there would be “no silicon-impacting changes” (the only changes would be software/firmware-related) between revision 0.9 and revision 1.0, which is what will allow some products to start to trickle into the marketplace before the final release of the 1.0 revision. During this time, products will be able to qualify for the PCI-SIG “Integrator’s List” (the “IL” triangle), which is PCI-SIG’s version of an approval logo.

Neshati jokingly referred to the third quarter of 2011 as the “Fry’s and Buy” date (an apparent reference to Frys.com and either Buy.com or Best Buy). This is the time in which we can expect to see a large selection of PCI Express 3.0-based merchandise for sale on the Web and in retail stores. 


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  • 1 Hide
    tranzz , 3 August 2010 17:39
    Check out the link to screensavers on page 7 - very cool
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , 3 August 2010 22:24
    The author is missing the point by asking whether the extra bandwidth provided by PCIe 3 is needed right now, because of the lifespan of components and the need for backwards compatibility bandwidth needs to stay a generation ahead of the technology it enables.
    In perhaps 2 years time, there will still be a very large number of PCIe 2 motherboards being used, and new technology must still work with those motherboards. And PCIe 3 must provide enough bandwidth for every component that's released until PCIe 4 is on the majority of motherboards
  • -4 Hide
    chechak , 5 August 2010 02:58
    PCI Express 3.0 is it needed Right know?
    is it stable?
    the answer the second half of this year
  • 0 Hide
    daglesj , 5 August 2010 21:38
    Two words...Market Churn.

    I'm still looking for stuff worth installing in all the other PCI Express slots in my motherboard.

    All very well building in more and more bandwidth but 99.999% of us aint got nothing to use it with.

    Its just another logo to slap on motherboard boxes to shift one over another with PCI-E 2.0 written on it.
  • 0 Hide
    borandi , 5 August 2010 23:52
    CUDA programmers, especially those working with large amounts of data and data transfer, love bandwidth increases. Good times.
  • 0 Hide
    daglesj , 6 August 2010 00:47
    Yep the 0.001%.
  • 0 Hide
    wasabi-warrior , 6 August 2010 18:19
    Well, im all for it. Im guessing that even if the majority dont use it, within 6 months of the release, there will be some crazy motherboard from some company, and some game made just for it. Bandwith increase, bah. Some one will fill the gap soon enough.
  • 0 Hide
    Cogwulf , 6 August 2010 19:21
    Right now you have to buy a new motherboard to take advantage of a new generation of CPUs. But it's taken for granted that you can buy a top end graphics card and put it in a two year old motherboard and still get the same increase in performance, this is thanks to manufacturers keeping PCI-e a step ahead of other hardware.

    If they just increased the bandwidth of PCI-e as it was needed, it would force people to buy a new motherboard every time they buy a new graphics card
  • 0 Hide
    voloda , 8 August 2010 19:56
    Do we need a PCI-E 3.0 right now is NO! As simply as it sounds the reasons are several.... for example, it would be implemented in high-end MB-s which means it will be overpriced anyway and I doubt that people will switch. Another reason is that even 2 year old PC will be able to run latest APPs and Games on high settings with medium resolution (1650x1080) take my PC for example:
    C2D E6550
    MB: ASUS P5N-E
    RAM 4GB
    GFX: 9600GT 512MB (OC)
    HDD: Samsung F1 750GB

    ... have not done any upgrades since 2008 and still can run latest apps and games pretty smoothly!
    On the other hand remember what happened with UBS1 when it was implemented first, you would find hardly no-one unsing it, but in the long run USB port won anyway. Maybe that will happen with PCI-E 3.0!? Concluding this thought I think that they must not rush the release of PCI-E 3.0! What do you think?
  • 0 Hide
    chainlash , 8 August 2010 20:18
    yeah maybe christmas 2011 will be a good time to get this
  • 0 Hide
    voloda , 8 August 2010 20:24
    chainlashyeah maybe christmas 2011 will be a good time to get this


    ... more likely Christmas 2012 to me
  • 2 Hide
    chainlash , 8 August 2010 20:40
    voloda... more likely Christmas 2012 to me



    ah i think it would best getting this before doomsday :D