PCI Express

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PCI Express

A high-speed hardware interface from Intel for connecting peripheral devices. Introduced in 2002 as "Third Generation I/O" (3GIO), PCI Express (PCIe) superseded both PCI and PCI-X, and new motherboards may come with a mix of PCI and PCIe slots or only PCIe. See PCI-X.

Since the mid-2000s, computer motherboards have at least one PCIe slot for the graphics card. PCIe is also used for internal Wi-Fi cards, 10 Gigabit Ethernet cards, hard drives and solid state drives (SSDs). See SATA Express.

Switched Architecture - Multiple Lanes
Rather than the shared bus structure of PCI, PCIe provides a switched architecture of channels that can be combined in x2, x4, x8, x16 and x32 configurations, creating a parallel interface of independently controlled "lanes." The switch backplane determines the total bandwidth, and cards and motherboards are compatible between versions.

Internal and External for Laptops
A mini version of PCIe was developed for laptops (see Mini PCI Express) and ExpressCard and Thunderbolt interfaces are sometimes used to extend PCI Express outside the computer (see external GPU). For PCI/PCI Express comparisons, see PCI-SIG. See PCI, ExpressCard, Thunderbolt, PCI-X and SATA Express.

                Data TransferPCI Express      (Bytes/Sec)Version      1 Lane      16 Lanes

    1.0        250 MBps     4 GBps
    2.0        500 MBps     8 GBps
    3.0          1 GBps**  16 GBps**
    4.0          2 GBps**  32 GBps**
  ** = rounded

Different Size Slots
PCIe is not plug compatible with PCI. The x1 slot is a single-lane implementation, while the x16 slot supports 16 lanes for high-speed data transfer.

Parallel Transfer in Serial Form
Each lane is an independent single-bit serial channel on the PCIe backplane.

Only PCIe on the Motherboard
This Asus Z87 motherboard has four x1 and three x16 PCIe slots and no PCI. The x16 slots accept x16, x8 or x4 cards. (Image courtesy of ASUStek Computer Inc.)

AGP to PCI-Express
The AGP slot gave way to an x16 PCI Express slot for the graphics card. The cards have different edge connectors to ensure they plug into the right slot. (Image courtesy of NVIDIA Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
With support for up to 8GB of faster (667/ 533) dual-channel DDR-2 memory, state-of-the-art PCI-Express x16 graphics cards and onboard audio, the SUPER PDSG4/E provides outstanding flexibility and performance for robust content creation and multimedia authoring.
ExpressCard technology uses a simpler connector and eliminates the CardBus controller by using direct connections to PCI-Express and USB ports in the host.
While supporting the latest PCI-Express standard, the core shares the same user interface as existing PCI and PCI-X controller core, ensuring an easy migration for customers to PCI Express standard.
LeWiz Communications Makes Available Immediately a Full Spectrum of Copper and Fiber-Optic 2-Port GigE NIC Cards with x1 and x4 PCI-Express Interfaces for the High-Performance Workstations, Desktops, Servers and Storage Systems
LeWiz Communications introduces a dual-port 10GigE PCI-Express NIC with optional TCP/IP acceleration, and announces the availability of its low-profile single-port 10GigE NIC with optional full TCP/IP acceleration for both copper and fiber.
We were able to capture and analyze over 1,000 lanes of PCI-Express data in a few weeks with correct and consistent setup conditions.
Utilizing its patent pending technology, LeWiz Communications, a fabless semiconductor company, amazingly packed the performance of 4 Giga bit per second Ethernet (GigE) ports on a tiny low-profile, 4-lane, PCI-Express card for server, storage and security systems.
With the industry awaiting the arrival of PCI-Express implementations, Perfisans Networks Corp.
DSS Networks announces another innovative first to market board level product - offering an extreme high-performance 8-port Gigabit Ethernet hybrid switch/interface on a highly integrated PCI-Express card form factor - demonstrating years of continued commitment to quality board level network products targeted for OEMs and Systems Integrators in embedded and real-time systems applications.
SAN FRANCISCO -- TriCN, a leading developer of intellectual property (IP) for high-speed semiconductor interface technology, and PLD Applications (PLDA), a leading developer of PCI IP Core solutions, today announced the interoperability of TriCN's PCI-Express PHY and the PLDA PCI-Express IP Core, providing customers with a complete validated PCI-Express(TM) solution.
Our GPEX IP family continues to be the leading PCI-Express solution in the industry.