PCI Express 6.0: Bandwidth of 256 GB/s is on its way by 2021

There is still time left to see all of this on a PC, but it is worth noting that it is announced by PCI-SIG that PCIe 6.0 is already included in Rev. 0.3. PCIe 4.0 is already included in the new motherboards, although it took a long time to get there.

PCI Express 6.0: Bandwidth of 256 GB/s is on its way by 2021

PCI-SIG wants to avoid these delays, as was the case with PCIe 3.0 to 4.0. But many of you will wonder why, especially when today’s gaming PCs with PCIe 4.0 can hardly see an advantage. Well, PCIe is not only suitable for GPUs, but also for SSDs and is used in systems that require much more bandwidth, such as HPC clusters or supercomputers.

Doubled Bandwidth, PAM4, and FEC

In this case, the new specifications are needed. According to PCI-SIG, specification 6.0 should be completed by 2021 as long as everything goes well. But that doesn’t mean that consumer motherboards suddenly have PCIe 6.0, it all takes time. Sometimes it takes generations of products to accommodate everything, and the products must be designed to support not only speed but also signal integrity.

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The PCIe 6.0 specification would be doubled compared to the 5.0 specification, with a bidirectional bandwidth of 256 GB/s or 128 GB/s per address. This could cause some new SSDs to run very hard depending on how the technology scales. For example, the PCIe 6.0 x4 interface would theoretically allow 32 GB/s for an M.2 x4 device. In comparison, the existing PCIe 3.0 achieves a maximum of 4 GB/s and 4.0 a maximum of 8 GB/s. Yes, that’s right, a PCIe 6.0 x1 could theoretically have the same bandwidth as a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface.

Now the question is when are GPUs powerful enough to need PCIe 6.0?