The PCI Special Interest Group (PC-SIG) announced there will be one more PCI Express standard before having to make the switch from copper to optical interconnects. The PCI Express 4.0 standard is expected to arrive around 2015 and promises 16 gigatransfers per second, double as much as the PCI Express 3.0 standard.
"The initial report we got yesterday is a PCI Express 4.0 is feasible--we have to work out the details, but it is feasible," said Al Yanes, president of the PCI SIG, speaking in a press briefing at the group's annual developers conference.
A exploratory group including members from AMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Intel are conducting simulations using chip, channel, packet and socket data. They have determined throughput of at least 16 GT/s is possible and are expected to deliver a final report before the end of the year.
"We think we can eke out one more turn of the crank out of copper, so we are not looking at optics yet," said Ramin Neshanti, chairman of the PCI SIG's serial communications working chair.