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Posted by on 12 Sep 2009 11:49 am. Filed under hardware.
PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), officially abbreviated as PCIe (or PCI-E, as it is commonly called), is a computer expansion card standard designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP standards. Introduced by Intel in 2004, PCIe is the latest standard for expansion cards that is available on mainstream personal computers.
PCI Express is used in consumer, server, and industrial applications, as a motherboard-level interconnect (to link motherboard-mounted peripherals) and as an expansion card interface for add-in boards. A key difference between PCIe and earlier buses is a topology based on point-to-point serial links, rather than a shared parallel bus architecture.
The PCIe electrical interface is also used in a variety of other standards, most notably the ExpressCard laptop expansion card interface.
Conceptually, the PCIe bus can be thought of as a high-speed serial replacement of the older (parallel) PCI/PCI-X bus. At the software-level, PCIe preserves compatibility with PCI; a PCIe device can be configured and used in legacy applications and operating-systems which have no direct knowledge of PCIe’s newer features. In terms of bus-protocol, PCIe communication is encapsulated in packets. The work of packetizing and depacketizing data and status-message traffic is handled by the transaction-layer of the PCIe port (described later.) Radical differences in electrical-signalling and bus-protocol require the use of a different mechanical form factor and expansion connectors (and thus, new motherboards and new adapter-boards.)