According to PC Magazine, the PCI SIG (special interest group) has decided to officially delay the release of the finalized PCI Express 3.0 specification until Q2 2010. Originally, the specs were due to be released this year, with 3.0-enabled products to hit the shelves in 2010. Now, according to the new date, products compliant with the new specs won't be available until 2011.
The PCI SIG said that the delay stemmed from the need to maintain backward compatibility with products based on current standards, namely PCI Express 1.0 and 2.0. "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 backwards-compatible, we had to do the diligence required to move the date," said Al Yanes, president of the PCI SIG.
Yanes added that a big portion of the delay was related to verifying products in the lab, making sure that the older devices can function correctly in the new 3.0 slots. The group is taking extra time to ensure that the three frequencies used by PCI Express--2.5 GHz, 5.0 GHz, and the new 8.0 GHz--can support the new encoding schemes (bumped up from 8-bit and 10-bit to 128-bit and 130-bit) on an electrical level.
Although graphics card manufacturers will be mostly affected by the delay, Yanes said that the member companies of the PCI SIG were satisfied with the group's decision.