PCIe 7.0 specification enters development, planned to launch in 2025

João Carrasqueira

XDA Developers

PCIe 7.0 specification enters development, planned to launch in 2025

We’ve barely even begun to feel the benefits of PCIe 5.0 in the consumer PC market, but the PCI Special Interesting Group (or PCI-SIG) has already announced that it’s started development on the next version of the specification. PCIe 7.0 has entered the initial stages of development at PCI-SIG’s workgroups, following the announcement of the finalized PCIe 6.0 specification earlier this year.

As per usual, the goal is to once again double the bandwidth offered by the previous version of PCIe, meaning you can expect up to 128GT/s (gigatransfers per second), and 512GB/s of bi-directional bandwidth with a x16 configuration. The new specification will be based on 4-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4), and it will focus on improving power efficiency and maintaining low latency and high reliability. It will also continue to offer backwards compatibility with previous generations of PCIe.

“With the forthcoming PCIe 7.0 specification, PCI-SIG continues our 30-year commitment to delivering industry-leading specifications that push the boundaries of innovation,” said Al Yanes, President and Chairperson of the PCI-SIG. “As PCIe technology continues to evolve to meet the high bandwidth demands, our workgroups’ focus will be on channel parameters and reach and improving power efficiency.”

Table showing the speeds offered by the PCIe specification with each generation depending on the number of lanes used

New versions of PCIe come around roughly every three years, and the goal has always been to double the bandwidth with each iteration. It’s all about pushing boundaries, and realistically, consumers won’t see the effects of this new tech for a good while after the specification is finished. Keep in mind that we’ve barely just started to see SSDs take advantage of PCIe 5.0, and not many PCs support it yet. That was the standard launched in 2019, so the industry takes time to catch up with these innovations. To start with, the specification is aimed towards supporting 800G Ethernet, cloud and quantum computing, and AI/ML.

Even if the effects won’t be felt for a long time, it’s always reassuring to see that progress isn’t stopping anytime soon. New versions of PCIe have been developed on a regular cadence, and PCs have certainly become more capable because of it. With PCIe 7.0, that should continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

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