PCIe 3.0 Protocol Delayed

Tweaktown is reporting that the PCI-Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) has decided to delay the next generation PCIe protocol (3.0) until Q2 2010, pushing the new bus specification back an entire year. Previously 3.0 was scheduled for a release this year, followed by PCIe 3.0-based products appearing in 2010.

Computerworld expands upon the story, reporting that the SIG is taking extra time to verify and guarantee backward compatibility, electrical requirements, and other "granular specification details." When released, PCIe 3.0 is expected to provide faster data transfer rates of up to 32 GB/sec, and a lower power consumption than the previous PCIe 2.0 protocol.

"We don't need it yet, but we will need it soon," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64 in regards to the 3.0 delay. "Otherwise the bus becomes the bottleneck." High-speed network controllers and many disk controllers tend to be based on PCI Express. With disks and networks providing faster transfer rates, the PCIe protocol needs to get faster in order to support the bandwidth, hence the eventual requirement for PCIe 3.0.

According to Al Yanes, president and chairman of PCI-SIG, the backward compatibility aspect will allow a PCIe 3.0 card to plug into a PCIe 2.0 system without a hitch; the same will hold true for a PCIe 2.0 card plugged into a PCIe 3.0 system.