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Delay hits next generation PCI standard

Windows has learnt that the PCI Special Interest Group (PCISIG) has delayed the launch of the next generation PCI protocol, known as PCI 3.0

Expansion cards such as GPUs make use of the existing 2.0 protocol and will soon use the faster 3.0 protocol as well.
Expansion cards such as GPUs make use of the existing 2.0 protocol and will soon use the faster 3.0 protocol as well.

Windows has learnt that the PCI Special Interest Group (PCISIG) has delayed the launch of the next generation PCI protocol, known as PCI 3.0.

The new protocol was originally scheduled for launch this year but will now only be ready for use in the second quarter of 2010. The protocol has seemingly been delayed due to issues with backward compatibility and some electrical issues.

The PCISIG originally announced early specifications for this standard in August 2007; the PCI 3.0 protocol is expected to offer data transfer rates of 32GB per second whilst also requiring lesser power than the existing 2.0 protocol.

The 2.0 protocol currently offers a maximum data transfer rate of 16GB per second. The new 3.0 interface, like its predecessor, will likely be used by high-end GPUs, storage controllers and other bandwidth intensive expansion cards.

Companies such as AMD and Intel have already signed up to use this new protocol. It is expected that motherboards and compatible PCI 3.0 expansion cards will start appearing in the marketplace in the summer of 2011.