PCI wants to squash Thunderbolt

Long live open standards

This summer the PCI SIG will start an effort to create an external, cabled version of PCI Express that is supposed to compete against Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) proprietary Thunderbolt-product that is used by Apple.

The first version of the cabled PC standard will support speeds of up to 8 Gtransfer/second that with four lanes translate into 32 Gbps using a copper cable.  The maximum cable length will be 3m or 10ft.

The announcement was made at the annual PCI gathering here in Santa Clara in California.  Future versions are expected to support higher speed on copper as well as using optical links.  In addition to supporting very high speed transfers, the cable will also support power delivery to devices of up to 20W.

It looks like Intel is going to have quite a fight on its hands with both USB and PCI doing external high speed standards that will compete with the company’s proprietary technology.  Whereas Intel is extremely good at manufacturing chips, it has always had a problem when it comes to launching proprietary standards.S|A

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