PCI-SIG Delivers PCI Express 2.0 Specification

PCI-SIG, the Special Interest Group responsible for PCI Express industry-standard I/O technology, has announced the availability of the PCI Express Base 2.0 specification. After a 60-day review of revision 0.9 of the specification in Fall 2006, members of the PCI-SIG finalized and released PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0, which doubles the interconnect bit rate from 2.5GT/s to 5GT/s to support high-bandwidth applications.

The specification seamlessly extends the data rate to 5GT/s in a manner compatible with all existing PCIe 1.1 products currently supporting 2.5GT/s signaling. The key benefit of PCIe 2.0 is its faster signaling, effectively increasing the aggregate bandwidth of a 16-lane link to approximately 16 GB/s. The higher bandwidth will allow product designers to implement narrower interconnect links to achieve high performance while reducing cost.

In addition to the faster signaling rate, PCI-SIG working groups also added several new protocol layer improvements to the PCIe Base 2.0 specification which will allow developers to design more intelligent devices to optimize platform performance and power consumption while maintaining interoperability and fast market introduction. These architecture improvements include:
- Dynamic link speed management allows developers to control the speed at which the link is operating;
- Link bandwidth notification alerts platform software (operating system, device drivers, etc) of changes in link speed and width;
- Capability structure expansion increases control registers to better manage devices, slots and the interconnect;
- Access control services allows for optional controls to manage peer-to-peer transactions;
- Completion timeout control allows developers to define a required disable mechanism for transaction timeouts;
- Function-level reset provides an optional mechanism to reset functions within a multi-function device;
- Power limit redefinition enables slot power limit values to accommodate devices that consume higher power.

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