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The incoming of PCI Express 2.0 to the market seems to be getting late, as, despite of rumours, the first platforms to support PCIe 2.0 are projected to emerge only in the Q4 2007, along with Intel Corp.’s new server/workstation processors made using 45nm process technology. Yet, the world’s largest chipmaker has showcased PCI Express 2.0 chips.

At a developer conference in San Jose, California, held by PCI special interest group (PCI SIG) Intel Corp. along with some other hardware developers reportedly demonstrated hardware that is compliant with PCI Express 2.0 specifications. Intel, according to EETimes web-site, demonstrated unreleased ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, and Nvidia graphics chips running in a workstation featuring code-named Stoakley platform.

Stoakley platform is intended for dual processor (DP) workstations and is based on code-named Seaburg chipset, which supports both current as well as next-generation processors made using 45nm process technology (e.g., those code-named Harpertown or Wolfdale DP) with up to 1333MHz processor system bus (PSB). The Seaburg chipset also supports two PCI Express 2.0 slots up to 128GB of FB-DIMM memory and other up-to-date capabilities.

The new server/workstation platform from Intel Corp. is expected to emerge in the fourth quarter of the year. It is uncertain whether AMD/ATI and Nvidia plan to refresh their graphics processing unit’s lineups by then, though, it is probable, as both companies tend to follow the industry standards with new products.

The PCI Express 2.0 specification extends the data rate of PCI Express to 5GT/s (5GHz) in a manner compatible with the existing PCI Express 1.1 specifications that support 2.5GT/s (2.5GHz) signaling. There are a number of improvements made to the protocol and software layers of the architecture – a product of more than three years of design experience by the PCI-SIG members.

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