An announcement from the group that governs the PCI standard, known as PCI-SIG, has offered up the first details on the next-generation PCIe 4.0 standard. It’s not going to be showing up just around the bend, rather PCIe 4.0 won’t be a thing until around 2015. Before the final specs can be published, the group has to complete feasibility studies around 2013 or 2014. However, we do know that PCIe 4.0 will be shooting for some crazy performance numbers.
The PCI-SIG said that PCIe 4.0 is expected to hit 16 gigatransfers per second (i.e. 16 billion descrete packets of data). This is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0, which will be supported natively on Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge chips. The first products running PCIe 4.0 will likely be servers and high-end gaming machines. It may be 2016 before it is in wide use.
The PCI-SIG also commented that the new standard could be useful in tablet and other small form factor devices where space and power is limited. These systems have increasing bandwidth processing concerns like any other, after all.