HomeHardwareYour next graphics card could use a fiber optic connection

Your next graphics card could use a fiber optic connection

Computer systems have taken benefit of the ultra-fast communication pace that fiber optics can present for a very long time. Nevertheless, that is the primary time it may doubtlessly develop into a regular inside element of our PCs, with semiconductor fiber optics specialist Cadence demonstrating a brand new fiber optic PCIe 7.0 interface.

The world’s first demonstration remains to be a proof of idea slightly than a particular completed product, but it surely exhibits the potential of the expertise. The interface can clock in at 128GT/s (242GB/s for an x16 connection), which is 4 instances quicker than the present 32GT/s (63GB/s for x16) fee of PCIe 5.0. It’s too early to know if it will likely be a expertise that finds its means into the very best gaming motherboards of the close to future, but it surely’s an attention-grabbing idea nonetheless.

fiber optic pc pcie 7 demo setup

As an alternative, the extra doubtless utility for this tech demo can be in PCIe interconnects between servers the place, notably with fashionable AI workloads, it’s seen as advantageous to have a number of PCs speaking with ultra-fast connections. Certainly, at its Computex 2024 keynote, Nvidia was extremely captivated with its new server spine (beneath), which reminded us of an enormous model of the SLI clips you used to get when connecting two graphics playing cards collectively.

nvidia server backbone

Nevertheless, this fiber optic expertise might be utilized in PCs to create longer graphics card PCIe extension cables. We will envisage a slim, spherical cable protruding from a laptop computer or compact desktop PC, after which connecting to an exterior graphics card field that’s located underneath your desk or in any other case out of the way in which.

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Model 0.5 of the PCIe 7.0 spec was launched earlier in 2024, and it’s anticipated to include a regular copper-based PCB normal that’s in a position to ship the identical 128GT/s bandwidth because the optical model. It’s additionally anticipated to be finalized in 2025, with boards and different applied sciences based mostly on the usual arriving some years later.

For comparability, the ultimate PCIe 6.0 specification was signed off in January 2022, however it was solely in March this yr that Nvidia introduced that its Blackwell AI accelerators and new NVLink 5 normal would use the PCIe 6.0 interface.

Whereas we anticipate our fiber optic PC future, try this fiber optic gaming PC that makes use of the expertise in a really totally different method to create a stunning-looking starfield visible impact.


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