PCI Express PCIe Is Ready For Future Optical Connections

PCI Express (PCIe) is certainly one of the most important standards that you can find in a PC, but breakthrough innovations are relatively rare here. But now the consortium responsible for PCIe is planning a small revolution: optical connections.

Working group to develop optical PCIe “successor”.

PCI Express is the common standard when it comes to connecting PC peripherals to the chipset of a main processor. This is also constantly being further developed, but you shouldn’t expect too big technological leaps here – at least as a rule.

Because now the consortium responsible for PCI Express, the PCI-SIG, has announced that the step into the future is being prepared and this future is based on optical connections. Specifically, the founding of the PCI-SIG Optical Workgroup was announced.

According to the official statement, this working group intends to be “technology agnostic” and “support a wide range of optical technologies while potentially developing technology-specific form factors.”

“Optical interconnects will be a major advance for the PCIe architecture, enabling higher performance, lower power consumption, greater bandwidth, and lower latency,” explains Nathan Brookwood, Research Fellow at Insight 64. “Many data-intensive markets and applications such as cloud and quantum computing, hyperscale data centers, and high-performance computing will benefit from a PCIe architecture that leverages optical interconnects.”

According to PCI-SIG boss Al Yanes, all industry representatives are invited to join the new working group and contribute to the development: “We have identified a strong interest from the industry to extend the reach of the established, multi-generational and energy-efficient PCIe technology standard by using optical connections between applications are made possible.”

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