PCI Express 4.0 motherboards, Solid State Drives. and other devices are not widely available yet, but that has not stopped the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) from releasing PCI Express 5.0 specifications on May 29, 2019.
Compared to PCI Express 4.0, PCI Express 5.0 promises double the bandwidth and other improvements while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI Express peripherals.
PCI Express 4.0 doubled the bandwidth, frequency, and transfer rate of PCIe 3.0, and PCI Express 5.0 is designed to quadruple it.
Target markets for PCI Express 5.0 include gaming, visual computing, AI, storage, and machine learning.
The new specification increases performance in the high-performance markets including artificial intelligence, machine learning, gaming, visual computing, storage and networking.
PCI Express 5.0 specification details
- Bandwidth of 128 GB/s, 32 GT/s, 32.0 GHz frequency, and 128b/130b encoding.
- Backwards compatible with all major PCI Express standards (4.0, 3.x, 2.x, and 1.x).
- Features new backwards compatible CEM connector for add-in cards.
- Support for extended tags and credits.
- Electrical changes improve signal integrity and mechanical performance of connectors.
Most existing devices don’t support PCI Express 4.0 and general availability of PCI Express 4.0 supporting hardware such as motherboards or Solid State Drives is just about to get better in 2019.
AMD announced in January 2019 that the company’s X570 motherboard chipset would support PCI Express 4.0, and that some 300 and 400-series motherboards could be updated to support PCI Express 4.0 at least partially.
Phison revealed a PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD controller in January 2019 as well and managed to gain 4 GB/s of sequential reads and 4.2 of write performance out of a hardware setup back then.
With PCI Express 5.0 announced, many might wonder whether it makes senses to jump on the PCI Express 4.0 bandwagon or wait until devices that support PCI Express 5.0 come out.
PCI Express 4.0 was announced in 2017 and adoption is just about starting in the consumer market. It is not too far fetched to assume that PCI Express 5.0 will need 18 to 24 months at the minimum before devices start to become available for consumers.
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