PCI-SIG, Portland, Oreg., the special interest group responsible for the PCI Express architecture, plans to double the data rate of the specification to 5 gigatransfers/sec. The new specification will better run bandwidth-hungry applications such as cinema-quality graphics and multimedia, enterprise servers and storage, and multigigabit networks.

Factors considered in the upgrade include platform implementation cost, high-volume manufacturability, system topologies, validation, interoperability, and backward compatibility with previous PCI standards. PCI-SIG says to expect the new specification in the second half of 2005, in time for 2007 product introductions. Member companies include AMD, Broadcom, HP, IBM, Intel, LSI Logic, Microsoft, Phoenix Technologies, and Texas Instruments.