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PCI-SIG announces the final specifications of PCI-E 6.0, the first compatible products would arrive between 2024 and 2025

Many consumers are still understanding what is the difference between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0, and PCIe 5.0 SSDs are just beginning to hit the market, the PCI-SIG consortium published the specifications for PCIe 6.0 this week.

The PCI-SIG consortium finally presented the full 1.0 specifications for PCIe 6.0 this week after going through several drafts over the years before.

The PCIe 6.0 specification will be backward compatible. The main benefit is that it doubles the data rate to 64 GT / s and doubles the maximum bandwidth to 256 GB / s when using 16 lanes compared to 128GB / s for PCIe 5.0. Other new features include four-level pulse width modulation (PAM4), forward error correction (FEC), cyclic redundancy check (CRC), and flow control units (Flits).

According to the PCI-SIG FAQ, it is PAM4 that allows the specification to achieve such high bandwidth. It modulates signals at four levels, packing two bits of information into a serial channel in the same amount of time.

However, higher bandwidth leads to a higher bit error rate, which FEC and CRC should help correct.

The newer components in most consumer PCs right now, like graphics cards and SSDs, are still transitioning from PCIe 3.0 to 4.0, and some companies are starting to release their first 5.0 SSDs. PCI-SIG says 6.0 will initially focus on data centers alongside industrial, automotive, military, and aerospace applications. It probably won’t reach everyday consumers for a while.

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