A NEW PROTOCOL which will double the data transfer rates of many add-on cards has been delayed by the organisation that sets the standards for PCI.
The PCI Special Interest Group (PCISIG) told Network World that the standard, which was due for release in 2009, will now be held back until at least the second quarter of 2010, despite the fact that most of the work on it already has been done.
PCISIG's top cat Al Yanes said that there are still some issues with backwards compatibility and electrical requirements, but the major stumbling point was that the organisation had "underestimated the sheer amount of work needed" to get the standard up to scratch and out.
The PCI 3.0 protocol - which is expected to offer data transfer speeds of up to 32GB per second along with decreased power draw - is most commonly used to add high-end graphics cards to desktop systems, and is also used by disk controllers, high speed network cards and audio cards.
So gamers looking for ever-higher frame rates will be disappointed to hear that one analyst reckons the new standard isn't necessary. "We don't need it yet, but we will need it soon," said Nathan Brookwood from Insight 64.
Motherboards with PCI 3.0 slots and the cards to go in them are expected to start appearing around summer 2011. Big guns that have signed up to the forthcoming protocol include Intel, AMD, Nvidia, HP, Dell, IBM and Sun. µ