PCIe 7.0 and its 4x bandwidth gains are now one step closer

PCIe 7.0 is on track to release in 2025, with version 0.5 of the standard becoming available to PCI-SIG members

PCI-SIG has just released version 0.5 of their upcoming PCIe 7.0 standard. This new PCI Express standard promises a 2x bandwidth boost over PCIe 6.0, and a whooping 4x bandwidth boost over PCIe 5.0. This paves the way to faster networking solutions, faster SSDs, stronger AI accelerators, and stronger graphics cards. On top of that, PCI Express 7.0 also aims to boost power efficiency.

The PCIe 7.0 standard is due to release in 2025, creating an upgrade path users of the PCI Express standard. Below are some of the improvements that PCIe 7.0 will feature.

  • Delivering 128 GT/s raw bit rate and up to 512 GB/s bi-directionally via x16 configuration
  • Utilizing PAM4 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation with 4 levels) signaling
  • Focusing on the channel parameters and reach
  • Continuing to deliver low-latency and high-reliability targets
  • Improving power efficiency
  • Maintaining backwards compatibility with all previous generations of PCIe technology

How powerful is PCIe 7.0?

Every iteration of the PCIe standard promises a 2x boost in available bandwidth. PCIe 4.0 is 2x faster than PCIe 3.0, PCIe 5.0 is 2x faster than PCIe 4.0, and PCIe 6.0 is 2x faster than PCIe 5.0. As you can guess, PCI Express version 7.0 will be two times faster than version 6.0.

With this upcoming version of the PCIe standard, 512 GB/s of bi-directional bandwidth should be available through a standard 16x PCIe configuration. With an 8x boost over version 4.0, this new standard will be able to deliver the same bandwidth as a 16x 4.0 config with a new 2x 7.0 configuration.

This new PCIe standard will enable the creation of M.2 SSDs that can deliver sequential read speeds of 50+GB/s. That’s insane! It will also make high-speed networking a lot more commonplace, with PCI-SIG stating that this new PCIe standard will be also useful for AI/Machine Learning, hyperscalers, quantum computing, and more.

Do we really need PCI Express 7.0?

The PC industry needs the PCI Express standard to continue evolving. If the PCI Express standard keeps moving forward, manufacturers will not need to invest in proprietary standards as they seek additional bandwidth. This ensures that PCIe remains relevant well into the future, and that backwards compatibility can be maintained for PC hardware. The time delay between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 almost caused the PC market to fragment. Since then PCI-SIG has been committed to delivering a new PCIe standard ever three years.

Another benefit of PCIe 7.0, and other future versions of PCIe, is that it allows hardware manufacturers to do more with less. A single PCIe 7.0 lane can offer users the same bandwidth as sixteen PCIe 3.0 lanes! Another benefit is that increased PCIe efficiency helps all users, not just those that need maximised performance.

Every three years, PCI-SIG hopes to continue doubling the bandwidth offered by PCI Express. PCIe 7.0 is the latest target for PCI-SIG’s hardware roadmap. Next up is PCIe 8.0, and it should offer users 1TB/s of bandwidth over x16 lanes!

You can join the discussion on PCIe 7.0 on the OC3D Forums.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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