Folks sure busted out the champagne when PCI Express
took the wand from AGP, and while this announcement isn't quite as monumental, doubling transfer speeds ain't nothing to balk at. PCI-SIG, the higher-ups involved in rolling out new PCI Express protocols, unveiled today the PCIe Base 2.0 specifications, which noted that the "interconnect bit rate" would be heading from 2.5GT/s to 5GT/s to better "support high-bandwidth applications." The primary benefits extending from the revamped standard include "faster signaling, increasing the aggregate bandwidth of a 16-lane link to approximately 16 Gbps," and of course, the backwards compatibility with current PCIe 1.1 products. Notably, Intel's "Bearlake
" family of chipsets will purportedly support PCI Express 2.0, and if all goes as planned, should start shipping "next quarter."