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PCIe 6 Announced, 4X The Bandwidth Of PCIe 4

by Robin Sunny

PCI-SIG, or the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group, had announced the development of PCI express 6 last year in June, but given the development cycle of a year and the typical adoption time-frame of another year, we might start seeing PCIe 6 equipped components by 2022.

Due to PCI-SIG’s commitment to double the bandwidth every 3 years, and with PCIe 4 just arriving in the consumer market, the organisation’s announced specification doubles the bandwidth of PCIe 5 of 128GB/s to 256GB/s of PCIe 6 quadrupling the bandwidth of PCIe 4 of just 64GB/s.

Source: PCI-SIG. Bandwidth Doubling Each Year

PCIe 6 has the data rate of 64GT/s while maintaining the backward compatibility with older devices. PCI Express 6 Specifications:

  • Delivers 64 GT/s raw bit rate and up to 256 GB/s via x16 configuration.
  • Utilizes PAM-4 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation with 4 levels) encoding and leverages existing 56G PAM-4 in the industry.
  • Includes low-latency Forward Error Correction (FEC) with additional mechanisms to improve bandwidth efficiency.
  • Maintains backwards compatibility with all previous generations of PCIe technology.

“Continuing the trend we set with the PCIe 5.0 specification, the PCIe 6.0 specification is on a fast timeline, due to the continued commitment of our member companies, we are on pace to double the bandwidth yet again in a time frame that will meet industry demand for throughput.” Al Yanes, PCI-SIG Chairman and President

The PCIe 6 specification is said to be released by next year, 2021, but actual products with PCIe 6 are estimated to arrive afterwards a couple of years.

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