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PCI Express® Architecture
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is PCI Express® architecture? A1: PCI Express architecture is an industry standard high-performance, general-purpose serial I/O interconnect designed for use in enterprise, desktop, mobile, communications and embedded platforms. It has many state-of-theart attributes, including: • PCI compatibility using the established PCI softwareprogramming models, thus facilitating a smooth transition to new hardware while allowing software to evolve to take advantage of PCI Express features • A cost-effective, low-pin count interface offering maximum bandwidth per pin, reducing cost and design complexity and enabling smaller form factors • Scalable bandwidth of 16 Gigabytes per second at its initial signaling rate of 2.5GHz with muchhigher transfer rates in the future using higher frequency signaling technologies • Support for multiple interconnect widths via 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 32 lane configurations aggregated to match application bandwidth needs • Support for new and innovative, hot-plug/hot-swap add-in card and module devices • Unique, advanced features such as Power Management, Quality of Service and other nativefunctions not available in other I/O architectures Q2: What prompted the creation of PCI Express architecture? A2: The interconnect demands of emerging compute and communications platforms exceed the capabilities of traditional parallel busses such as PCI. Innovations such as 10GHz and higher CPU speeds, faster memories, highend graphics gigabit networking and storage interfaces, and high-performanceconsumer devices have driven the need for a system interconnect with much greater bandwidth scalability and lower cost of implementation. PCI Express architecture uniquely meets these varying market segments requirements. Q3: How does PCI-SIG® ensure product interoperability? A3: PCI-SIG holds regular Compliance Workshops in various locations around the world to satisfy the needs of its members.These workshops are intended for members to demonstrate their product’s interoperability with those of other PCI-SIG members. Member products that successfully demonstrate interoperability at a workshop are listed on the PCI-SIG Integrators List. Member products that conform to the PCI Express architecture may use the PCI Express logo (registered trademark of PCI-SIG) subject to the PCI-SIG Trademarkand Logo Usage Guidelines. Q4: What and how many PCI Express architecture specifications are there? A4: The PCI Express architecture suite of specifications can be described as follows: 1. PCI Express Base Specification: the core specification for the multi-layered PCI Express architecture. It is currently at revision 1.1. 2. PCI Express Card Electromechanical Specification: the ATX-based formfactors. It is currently at revision 1.1. 3. PCI Express Mini Card Electromechanical Specification: the BTO/CTO mobile platform form factor. It is currently at revision 1.1. 4. PCI Express to PCI/PCI-X® Bridge Specification: the bridging architecture to enable PCI Express components to function with legacy PCI devices. It is currently at revision 1.0. 5. PCI Express x16 Graphics 150W-ATX: theconsiderations for power and thermal issues in the next generation of platforms with leading-edge graphics and multimedia applications to deliver higher performance capabilities. It is currently at version 1.0.

PCI-SIG PCI Express FAQ

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PCI Express ExpressModule™: a hot-pluggable modular form factor defined for servers and workstations. It is currently at revision 1.0.

PCIExpress Form Factors Q5: What is the PCI Express x16 Graphics 150W-ATX 1.0 Specification? A5: PCI Express x16 Graphics 150W-ATX 1.0 is a supplementary specification to the PCI Express architecture specification specifically for delivery for higher performance capabilities for the next generation of platforms with leading-edge graphics and multimedia applications. The specification considers power...
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