The PCI Special Interest Group has released the PCIe Base 3.0 standard to its members on Thursday. The architecture is twice as fast as the PCIe 2.0 specification and can reach data rate of eight gigatransfers per second. The standard's data rate expansion should allow products that will bring bandwidth close to 1GBps in one direction on a single-lane setup and a scaled speed of nearly 32GBps on a sixteen-lane configuration.
The encoding efficiency was also increased to nearly 100 percent, which represents an improvement of about 25 percent. It remains backwards compatible with the existing PCIe 2.0 spec.
Also changed were aspects of the protocol and software layers of the architecture. This includes reusing hints, atomic operations, dynamic power adjustment mechanisms, latency tolerance reporting, loose transaction ordering and other extensions. The changes boost the energy efficiency by making better use of existing data and only fetching what's needed.
Potential applications for the new standard include virtually any computer that needs high performance for graphics and other peripherals, such as servers, workstations, gaming desktops and performance notebooks.
Members can now download the PCIe Base 3.0 specification. Shipping hardware will depend on both computer and peripheral designers implementing the spec themselves.