PCI Express has been one the most popular interfaces during the past decade serving all kinds of purposes – graphics cards, peripheral devices and more. Quite naturally it has undergone further developments with time, increasing bandwidth and adding more features. Although PCI Express has reached its third revision it appears that there will be a fourth one.
The first tech specs of PCI-E 4.0 have been listed online and at first glance the new generation will double the existing bandwidth only. PCI-E 4.0 will have a base speed of 16 Gbps per data link and will provide up to 16 of these links for a total throughput of 64 GB/sec versus today’s maximum of 32 GB/sec for PCI-E 3.0.
Besides higher bandwidth and perhaps higher performance there is an additional benefit that will come with the new standard – lower costs for motherboard manufacturers. Moving to a faster expansion slot speed means that motherboard makers can use fewer data links or assign more tasks to each one, bringing both complexity and costs down. This feature will be of even greater importance in the mobile computing field, which is good news for notebook makers too.
Of course right now it is too early to talk about PCI-E 4.0 coming to your next motherboard but the new generation will sooner or later appear on the market. The question is how soon it will come into mass production and how much it will cost.
Source: Tom’s Hardware Guide