PCI Express Test Overview

More about PCI Express — the high-performance and high-bandwidth serial communication interconnect standard — and how to test it.


PCl Express, short for Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, is a high-performance and high-bandwidth serial communication interconnect standard. First proposed by Intel and further developed by the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) in replacement of bus-based communication architecture, such as PCI, PCI Extended (PCI-X), and Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP).

PCIe significantly improves system throughput, scalability, and flexibility at lower production cost, which is impossible to achieve all while using traditional bus-based interconnect. PCIe provides lower latency and higher data transfer rates than legacy parallel buses such as PCI and PCI-X. Every device that is connected to a motherboard with a PCIe link has its own dedicated point-to-point connection. This means that devices are not competing for bandwidth because they are not sharing the same bus.

Peripheral devices associated with PCIe technology for data transfer include graphics adapter cards, network interface cards (NICs), solid state drive (SSD) storage devices, storage accelerator devices, inference engines in artificial intelligence (AI) applications and other high-performance peripherals. With PCIe, data center managers can take advantage of high-speed networking across server backplanes, and connect to Gigabit Ethernet, Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID), and InfiniBand networking technologies outside of the server rack.

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