A consortium consisting of many major technology companies has released Gen-Z Core Specification 1.0 which could become the successor to PCIe. The specification describes a new interconnect standard that should be able to transfer hundreds of gigabytes per second, per component. Gen-Z is open and royalty free.
The Gen-Z consortium was founded by 12 members, AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx and aims to create a next generation interconnect. Meanwhile, it’s supported by more than 50 companies, however Intel and Nvidia are not a member of the consortium.
An interconnect is responsible for communication between computer components such as CPUs, SSDs, graphic cards and memory. At the moment mainly PCIe is used but the standard doesn’t evolve fast enough. It took years between versions of the standard that doubled bandwidth. Another issue with PCIe is that only supports point-to-point connections.
Gen-Z should change this. The standard allows for much simpler hardware and software, which should result in cheaper products and higher performance. All Gen-Z components will make use of the same connector and benefit from the standard’s low latency and high bandwidth.
With the release of the standard, silicon providers and IP developers can begin the development of products utilizing Gen-Z technology.
More information can be found in the Gen-Z FAQ.