Faster PCI-X bus introduced

An industry group recently introduced a very fast data transfer bus specification for PCs and servers.

The PCI-SIG, a special interest group composed of vendor representatives, proposed PCI-X 1066, a bus that can sustain as much as 8.5G bit/sec of throughput at 1,066 MHz.

The PCI-SIG works on the PCI, PCI-X and PCI Express buses, as well as specifications for computer I/O. Over 700 companies are members of the PCI-SIG.

The PCI-X serial interface will remain the standard used in PCs and servers until the parallel-based PCI Express, formerly called 3GIO, is introduced. Observers in the industry have rumored that PCI-X 3.0 and 3GIO will be synonymous.

Throughput of 8.5G bit/sec will be sufficient to work with 40G bit/sec Ethernet networks and other technologies that are currently being developed. To support these speeds, the PCI-SIG is also considering adding features to enhance operations, such as power management, isochronous communications, redundant paths and modular form factors.

PCI-X 1066 would be backwards compatible with PCI-X 266 and PCI-X 533. PCI-X 266 and 533 were introduced in February. PCI-X and PCI Express specifications were released as industry standards in July.

Vendors are being asked to develop PCI-X 1066 in two phases. The initial phase would look at the signaling, connectors and adapters; phase two would include writing the specification and testing it.

PCI-X has also been implemented in phases. PCI-X 1.0 includes specific implementation details for 66- and 133-MHz PCI-X, and PCI-X 2.0 adds PCI-X 266 and PCI-X 533.

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