Intel 100 series chipsets to adopt PCI Express 3.0?

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 15 2014 @ 16:55 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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The Tech Report came across rumors that Intel will finally be adopting PCI Express 3.0 with its upcoming "100 series" chipsets.

Intel's processors already support PCI Express 3.0 but up until now the chip giant's chipsets have sticked to Gen2 which means motherboard makers have to use a third-party chip to offer Gen3.
According to the slides, the flagship member of the family will be the Z170, which reportedly has up to 20 lanes of PCIe Gen3 connectivity. That sounds like an awful lot, but I count only six lanes reserved exclusively for PCIe slots and devices. Most of the lanes appear to be shared with the chipset's USB, SATA, and Ethernet interfaces.

Those other interfaces are apparently getting a boost, as well. The slides show the Z170 with up to three PCIe storage ports, three SATA Express ports, and 10 USB 3.0 ports. Each PCIe storage link can have up to four lanes, while the SATAe connectivity is limited to two. All of those storage links will evidently be covered by Intel's RST drivers. The standard PCIe lanes should also support storage devices, but software support will probably have to come from the OS or third-party drivers.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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