The base spec should pave the way for silicon support for Express 2.0 as early as this fall by companies including Advanced Micro Devices, Intel Corp and NVidia. Because the SIG chose 5 GHz signaling, chip makers are generally able to use serializer/deserializers (serdes) that have already been proven in communications applications up to 6.25 GHz.
However, the SIG did not mention work on a separate electro-mechanical spec for adapter cards and motherboards. That effort seeks to ensure that existing PC boards will support the higher signaling rates, a potentially bigger challenge for the PC industry that runs on tight margins and lean costs. The board standard was running a few months behind the base spec in completion when the PCI SIG held its annual meeting here in June.