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  1. AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port
  2. Components
  3. Trade Associations
  4. Transfer Rate Specs
  5. Windows Help
  1. Google Directory - Computers Hardware Components ASICs and Chips
  2. Intel Developer Network for PCI Express Architecture:
  3. Intel Developer Network for PCI Express In Communications:
  4. PCI Express - Next Generation Display Interface. Formerly Third Generation I/O Architecture.
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Express:

PCIe is based around serial links called lanes. "A connection between a PCIe device and the system is known as a "link" and this link is built around a dedicated, bi-directional, serial (1-bit), point-to-point connection known as a "lane". A lane is capable of simultaneously transferring 250 MB/s of data in each direction. A link can use more than one lane at a time but all links compliant with the PCIe specification must minimally support single-lane connections, referred to as "x1" (pronounced "by-one") links.

For higher potential bandwidth, PCIe devices and systems can optionally support links using multiple simultaneous lanes – for example, a "x16" link uses 16 lanes. To support extra lanes, a PCIe card and slot must be designed to accommodate the extra electrical lines required (2 lines per lane). Card and slot types exist for x1, x4, x8, and x16 links.

Currently [3/23/2008], the only devices that use a x16 link are graphics cards. Other devices typically don't require the high potential bandwidths provided by such a connection." Quoted from Matrox.

PCI Express 2.0 - Allows up to twice the throughput of current PCI Express® cards. Doubles the bus standard's bandwidth from 2.5 Gbit/s (PCIe 1.1) to 5 Gbit/sec. PCI Express 2.0 is backwards compatible with PCIe 1.1.


Table 1: Bandwidth of PCI, PCI-X, and AGP Buses

Bus and Frequency Peak 32-Bit Transfer Rate Peak 64-Bit Transfer Rate
33-MHz PCI 133 MB/sec 266 MB/sec
66-MHz PCI 266 MB/sec 532 MB/sec
100-MHz PCI-X Not applicable 800 MB/sec
133-MHz PCI-X Not applicable 1 GB/sec
AGP8X 2.1 GB/sec Not applicable

Table 2: PCI Express Bandwidth

PCI Express Implementation Encoded Data Rate Unencoded Data Rate
x1 5 Gbps 4 Gbps (500 MB/sec)
x4 20 Gbps 16 Gbps (2 GB/sec)
x8 40 Gbps 32 Gbps (4 GB/sec)
x16 80 Gbps 64 Gbps (8 GB/sec)

Table 3. PCI Express Card Interoperability

PCI Express Implementation x1 Slot x4 Slot x8 Slot x16 Slot
x1 Card Required Required Required Required
x4 Card No Required Allowed Allowed
x8 Card No Allowed* Required Allowed
x16 Card No No No Required

*These implementations will have an x8 connector on a wired x4 slot. This means that the slot will accept x8 cards, but run at x4 speeds.

Tables above Quoted from www.Dell.com - PCI Express Technology: 2004 Technology Whitepaper


PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Express Background:

Next Generation Display Interface. Formerly Third Generation I/O Architecture. The next I/O Interface destined to first coexist with current PCI Spec then to replace PCI & AGP. PCI Express is said to be backwards compatible with current PCI Specs.

Quoting PCI-SIG Specs: "PCI Express architecture is a state-of-the-art serial interconnect technology keeping pace with recent advancements in processor and memory subsystems.

PCI Express currently runs at 2.5Gtps, or 250MBps per lane in each direction, providing a total bandwidth of 16GBps in a 32-lane configuration. Future frequency increases will scale up total bandwidth to the limits of copper and significantly beyond that via other media without impacting any layers above the Physical Layer in the protocol stack. PCI Express provides I/O attach points for high-performance graphics, 1394b, USB 2.0, InfiniBand™ Architecture (Server I/O Tech Spec), Gigabit Networking and so on."

www.extremetech.com & www.PCMag.com: "PCI Express uses a series of point-to-point channels to communicate information, in either x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16, or x32 dual channels, with 2.0 Gbits/sec of available bandwidth per channel."

  1. www.ExtremeTech.com - Generation 2 PCI Express Transfer Rate Defined: "PCI Express began replacing PCI in 2003 and 2004, although the technology is not expected to gain critical mass until sometime in 2005, since it is not backwards-compatible with existing PCI systems." (12/17/2004)
  2. www.ExtremeTech.com - Computex ATI Launches PCI Express Cards: "PCI Express represents a dramatic shift to a new PC infrastructure... All three of ATI's new PCI Express cards will use a native PCI Express implementation, without the bridge chip that rival Nvidia uses." PCI Express debuts this June (6/4/2004).
  3. www.ExtremeTech.com - New SIS Chipset Addresses DDR2-667 Memory: New SIS PCI Express chipsets supporting PCI Express x16 slots announced. ETA Unknown (6/4/2004).
  4. Home - PCI Express IT Network: (6/3/2004).
  5. www.ExtremeTech.com - ATI Unveils PCI Express Plans: (6/1/2004).
  6. images/bullet2.gifInfoWorld Good-bye PCI, hello PCI Express May 21, 2004 By Ephraim Schwartz HARDWARE NETWORKING: (5/22/2004).
  7. www.extremetech.com - Low-Power PCI Express Spec Debuts: Intel IDF (9/16/2003).
  8. Electronic Engineering Times - Asia - Agilent partners with Intel on PCI Express solutions: "Agilent supports the adoption of PCI Express technology with its development of a wide range of exercisers and protocol analyzers," said Siegfried Gross, VP and general manager for Agilent's Digital Verification Solutions Division (4/17/2003).
    1. www.agilent.com/find/pci_express
  9. www.eetAsia.com - Compatibility issue slows PCI Express: PCI, PCI-X and PCI Express Comparisons (4-16-03).
  10. vnunet.com Buyers face I-O dilemma on servers: IT Choosing Server I/O Architectures next year weighing price & performance issues (4-4-03).
  11. EEDesign - 0-In releases monitor for PCI Express: CheckerWare Monitor (4-2-03)
  12. PCWorld.com - PCI Express Moves Closer to Your PC: "...PCI-X 2.0 for servers, and PCI Express for PCs." (5/9/2003)
  13. Chipsets: www.pcmag.com - Intel To Overhaul PC With "Grantsdale" Chipset: PCI Express (2-28-03).
  14. www.theinquirer.net - ATI, Intel sort out PCI Express graphics futures: "...first generation of PCI Express will be driven by photo realism..." (2-26-03)
  15. www.theinquirer.net - PCI Express means death of AGP standard: "Intel itself will have two chipsets supporting Enterprise PCI Express – Lindenhurst and Twin Castle." (2-20-03)
  16. www.extremetech.com - NewCards To Usher In PCI Express In 2004: PCMCIA is OUT! (2-19-03)
  17. www.extremetech.com - Inside PCI Express: PCI Express uses a series of point-to-point channels to communicate information, in either x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16, or x32 dual channels, with 2.0 Gbits/sec of available bandwidth per channel. (9-10-02)
  18. Intel Developer Network for PCI Express Architecture: Link Update (6/3/2004).
  19. Intel Developer Network for PCI Express Architecture - PCI Express Architecture in Communications: (6/3/2004).

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Web Development, Gill Boyd & Team - Posted 04/17/2003; Updated 03/23/2008