The PCI Special Interest Group has concluded plans to in this July a cabled version of PCI Express that will challenge Thunderbolt Interconnect which was originally developed by Apple and Intel. Unlike Thunderbolt, this will be more open and optimal. The aim is to offer something that will provide better throughput I/O in tablets and notebooks.
The new cable will be based on PCIe 3.0 which supports up to 8 GTransfers/second. It likely will support a maximum of four parallel lanes for throughput up to 32 Gbits/s and distances no longer than three meters.
The new spec is aimed at consumer uses for desktop and mobile PCs and tablets as well as their peripherals such as external storage devices. The PCI SIG has a separate cable group, chartered in 2005, that has already delivered a spec for the 2.5 and 5 GT/s versions PCIe 1.1 and 2.0, supporting distances up to eight meters and aimed for use in servers and other data center equipment.
At about 32Gbps, it is a a generation ahead of the Thunderbolt if they can execute on it.
Thunderbolt is Intel’s latest interconnect technology that promises the next generation in transfer speeds, 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards or devices will have an Intel Thunderbolt controller chip that provides compatbility with a host of other connection technologies such as: VGA, DVI, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire and eSATA.
About PCI Express
PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), officially abbreviated as PCIe, is a computer expansion card standard designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards. PCIe has numerous improvements over the aforementioned bus standards, including higher maximum system bus throughput, lower I/O pin count and smaller physical footprint, better performance-scaling for bus devices, a more detailed error detection and reporting mechanism, and native hot plug functionality. More recent revisions of the PCIe standard support hardware I/O virtualization.