PCI Express

This data interface is widely available on PCs. Unlike its predecessor PCI interfaces, PCIe provides fast serial connections which are more reliable for handling fast data than the parallel connections used with previous PCIs. A range of cards offer 1, 4, 8 or 16 full duplex (same speed both ways) data ‘lanes’. These are written as 1x, 4x, etc. A larger 32-lane card is available but rarely used. The cards are hot swappable.

PCIe is commonly used to connect storage such as optical and hard discs and SSD drives. The available data speed has increased over three versions so v3.0 offers a data speed up to 985 MB/s per lane.

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