No sooner have PCI-e 3.0 motherboards started to leave the shelves (not even GPUs, yet), than PCI-SIG is extorting the virtues of its successor – aptly named 4.0.
The 3.0 specification might seem fast enough, running at 1GB/s (per lane) through upto 16 lanes to communicate with the fastest of graphics cards. That’s some 400% of the original PCI-e spec, and twice that of PCI-e 2.0, which even the fastest of current GPUs still use.
The EE Times cite 4.0 to be the last iteration of PCI express to use copper connections, expecting the next (next) generation to favour optical communication.
PCI-e 4.0 is expected to be ready for the shelves around 2014-2015, so 3.0 buyers needn’t worry yet.