Articles :: Intel Developers Forum: Part 1 ::

Niso Levitas · 03-06-2002 · Category: Interviews

3GIO: A PCI Killer

CPU frequency is increasing. Memory bandwidth is getting larger and larger. Gigabit desktop adapters will hit the market soon. The good old PCI adapter has been on our motherboards for a long time and it will stay. They are planning 3GIO (Third generation Input Output) It will be the new standard and will replace the PCI in time. If you are enough old to remember ISA to PCI shift, it will be something like that. They are planning 3GIO in different flavors. They even plan to use 3GIO adapter for graphics after AGP 8x.

There will be 1x, 4x, 8x and 16x connectors. You will be able to plug a 1x add-in card to 4x, 8x or 16x connectors.1x connector will be 36 pins. PCI is 120 pins. In theory they told us 1x 3GIO will be 4 times faster than PCI and 16x 3GIO will be 64 times faster than PCI. For first samples PCI and 3GIO will co-exist on motherboards.

What we noticed for this design is, connectors are slim and it is very hard to hold the card in place. There will be a retention mechanism. I hope they find a better retention mechanism design than the one they showed us.

But the most interesting design was the cartridge 3GIO design. Lets say, you bought a capture card or USB 2.0 card and you want to add it to your computer. Easy, slide it in and you are all set. It is hot swap. If you want to replace it with a 3GIO cartridge Smartmedia adapter, you can do it right away. That is the theory. But we saw the first designs.


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