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Now we wait for devices to show up

Several years ago when PCI-Express was being developed, the technology was also being designed to support devices outside of the traditional computer enclosure. While "internal" PCI-Express took off, development and support for external devices was slow. This week, the PCI Special Interests Group (PCI-SIG) announced the availability of the PCI-Express external cable specification revision 1.0.

With the new specifications fully defined, cables will be developed for all PCI-Express link widths including: x1, x4, x8 and x16. This allows for devices such as external high-speed storage controllers, network or fabric interfaces and graphics adapters to use the technology.

According to PCI-SIG chairman Al Yanes, external PCI-Express products should now be in full development and show up on the market in less than a year. "This specification helps the industry create new products that will take PCIe technology out of the box – enabling PCIe solutions for IO expansion drawers, external graphics processors, tethered mobile docking, communications equipment and embedded applications,” said Yanes.

External PCI-Express devices will be able to use signaling rates up to 2.5 gigatransfers per second (GT/sec). Of course, the host, adapter and cable must be able to support those speeds, but the future looks promising according to the specification's outline. Later on, 5GT/sec. rates will be possible. Some applications for this type of technology include stacking storage arrays together by using the external PCI-Express interconnect rather than relying on Gig-E networking.

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RE: Latency?
By skyyspam on 2/9/2007 7:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
That's a great question, which I'd like to know as well. I doubt it would, being that the cable is relatively short in length, but until we have the hardware in our hands (or reviewed by anandtech) we won't know if there's any latency issues to speak of.

If there is display lag, that would be a problem, as most LCDs already have an inherent display latency (especially some of the larger ones). Adding more lag to these displays is bad.

But that being said, I personally doubt there's going to be an issue with latency with externally-configured graphics. That's just SKYY talking out of his butt, though.

RE: Latency?
By ElJefe69 on 2/12/2007 11:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
well, consider this:

pci-e at 8x has no difference in ability with current gfx cards when compared too 16x.

agp 8x can run just as fast for what is out there TOO RUN at this point. Worrying about latency hopefully wont be much of a worry as the pci-e standards throughput is immensely more than is needed. Still, any cable longer than an inch is subject to problems.

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