Latest PCI-e specifications push back due to backward compatibility issues
The long awaited PCI-e 3.0 specification has been delayed a year according to the PCI SIG. This means that the specification will not be released until the second quarter of 2010.
Originally the PCI SIG specification was to be released in 2009, with products appearing in 2010. However due to the delay in release the first PCI Express 3.0 products will appear in 2011.
The reason? The need to maintain backward compatibility with PCI express 1.0 and 2.0 standards. "In this particular case, with pushing the technology so hard, and with PCI gen 3 providing so much more capabilities but with the need to be still backward-compatible, we had to do the diligence required to move the date," Says Al Yanes, president of PCI SIG.
However it appears that the delays are primarily linked to verifying products in the lab- "The magic stuff has already happened; we're in execution mode," stated Yanes.
According to Yanes the "magic" was moving from 8bit and 10bit encoding systems to 128bit and 130bit encoding. The challenge, he said, was to enable the proper encoding at the three speeds used by different PCI express versions- 2.5ghz, 5.0ghz and the new 8.0ghz speed. The delays are due to the massive amount of testing required to verify those electrical models and are to ensure everything is "picture perfect" for release.
While Yanes said that the member companies of the PCI SIG were happy with the group's decision, those most affected by it will be involved with graphics, which uses the highest throughput of all PCI Express devices, Yanes said.
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