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PCIe 6.0 spec just months away from completion, doubles max data transfer rate
Thursday, 07 October 2021 11:00

HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 07 Oct 2021 01:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/0cb7b00818c8d9839e09d76c488cdefa44e9c9ea/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/c6e3c53140449b5437e631f0aa65e2acda7f855d/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/c6e3c53140449b5437e631f0aa65e2acda7f855d/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 07 Oct 2021 01:00:05 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy03us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 69a330c5e93217c8-MEL PCI-Express 6.0 specification only months away • The Register

Or will do in practical terms when devices start appearing, anyway


A key standard set to double data transfer speeds between the main components of computers will be finalized in a matter of months.

The final specification for PCI-Express 6.0 is targeted for the end of this year or early 2022, Al Yanes, president and chairperson of the standards organization PCI-Special Interest Group, told The Register this week.

"The rule of thumb is that we typically see products utilizing the latest PCIe architecture 12 to 18 months after final specification release," Yanes added.

You know the drill: PCIe typically links up microprocessors, GPUs, IO devices, and data storage in systems ranging from home PCs to cloud servers to some embedded devices. PCI-SIG is in the final stages of approving the specification, and released what may be its last revision, version 0.9, today.

The new specification will succeed PCI-Express 5.0, which was finalized in 2019.

The 6.0 spec supports up to 64 gigatransfers per second, which in practical terms means up to 128 GB/s per direction in a x16 configuration, which is double that of PCIe 5.0. By comparison, PCI-Express 1.0, which was released in 2003, had a transfer rate of 2.5 GT/s, which translates to 4GB/s per direction with x16. PCI-Express 6.0 will be backwards compatible with previous generations, we're told. Upgrades to the PCI-Express standards have been in increments of two years since PCIe 4.0, which was ratified in 2017.

The faster transfer rates are needed due to the rise in data-hungry applications that include artificial intelligence, Yanes said.

"PCIe 6.0 technology bandwidth capabilities are more suited for high end applications at this time... accelerators, machine learning and HPC applications that need high IO bandwidth," he told us.

The protocol has gained a low-latency data error correction mechanism called forward error correction (FEC), in addition to CRC, to make the increased bandwidth viable. It also, interestingly enough, uses PAM-4 [PDF] encoding, which is seen in fast Ethernet and GDDR6X. There are other tricks up its sleeve – a technical overview is here [PDF].

It will be a while until PCs get PCIe 6.0 interfaces. If not because it's going to take extra care to lay out motherboards that can handle the high-speed signalling, then because the chipsets just won't be ready.

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment on when it would add PCIe 6.0 support to its components, though said it was supporting PCIe 5.0 in the upcoming processors code-named Alder Lake; its Sapphire Rapids and Ponte Vecchio will support PCIe 5.0, too. Otherwise the latest Intel Xeon and 11th-gen Core parts support PCIe 4.0.

An Nvidia spokesperson declined to comment on when it would bring in PCIe 6.0 support. The company's chips, like the BlueField-3 DPU for data centers, can handle PCIe 5.0. AMD did not respond to a request for comment. The biz's most recent desktop and data-center chips support PCIe 4.0, we note.

The evolving automotive sector is hot on semiconductors, and PCI-SIG is looking to cash in.

"We have seen tremendous interest in automobile solutions and we have formed a new PCIe technical workgroup to focus on how to increase the adoption of PCIe technology in automobile industry due to the increased demand for bandwidth in that ecosystem," Yanes said. ®


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Marvell has produced samples of a server microprocessor with up to 24 Arm-compatible cores that could be used for applications involving artificial intelligence as well as network management, a spokesperson told The Register.

These chips are part of the Octeon family, and Marvell refers to them as data processing units. They are designed to run high-throughput code in cloud and data center environments, the company said.

"We are sampling Octeon silicon to our customers and they're working to bring their products to market next year," a spokeswoman said this week.

Continue readingEU readies 'antitrust charges' against Apple Pay for locking rivals out of iPhone NFC chip Monopoly is a board game, not a handbook

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The EU is set to file anti-competitive charges against Cupertino regarding its tap-to-pay system, Reuters reported, citing sources. Euro antitrust watchdogs are apparently not happy that the NFC chips in iPhones and iPads are restricted to the iGiant's Pay software, unfairly locking out alternative wireless payment apps.

The charges will be the result of a European Commission investigation that started last year into Apple's terms and conditions with merchants, the limited access to the NFC hardware, and more.

Continue readingOpen Sesame, says Google... to voice identification: Speech ID adds biometric security to call-centre bots Eleven. Eleh-ven. Ala-vuhn*. Oh never mind

Google has launched a speech identification system aimed at commercial call centres – leaving some biometric security questions unanswered at the same time.

According to the Chocolate Factory, Speaker ID is a way of identifying callers using just their voice, seemingly avoiding annoying and time-consuming ID check from the call centre agents. It even works, so Google says, without requiring a special text or password – voices can be identified from a sample of natural speech.

The omnipresent search and email giant has launched the product in conjunction with its existing Contact Center AI (CCAI), claiming the speech bot package has created a 20 to 35 per cent call deflection away from agents, between $1.3m and $3.7m productivity gains per centre in reduced average call times, and up to 75 per cent reduction in effort to manage contact centre solutions. All this according to a study commissioned by Google and conducted by Forrester Consulting in August 2020.

Continue readingProgress report: Asahi Linux brings forth a usable basic desktop on Apple's M1 Drivers slip into the kernel as team ponders GPU hardware

Efforts to bring Linux to Apple Silicon have resulted in a basic functional desktop, according to the Asahi Linux team.

The project kicked off in earnest with a lengthy blog post earlier this year detailing the challenges involved in getting the OS onto Apple's latest and greatest.

Since then Apple M1 support has been sidling into the Linux kernel and by August the GNOME desktop was shown booting up with the experience described as "not great, but usable."

Continue readingRunning a recent Apache web server version? You probably need to patch it. Now Unless you want to leak like a sieve

The Apache Software Foundation has hurried out a patch to address a pair of HTTP Web Server vulnerabilities, at least one of which is already being actively exploited.

Apache's HTTP Server is widely used, and the vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-41524 and CVE-2021-41773, aren't great. The latter, a path traversal and file disclosure flaw, is particularly problematic.

The former was reported to Apache's security team on 17 September and can be exploited by an external source to DoS a server with a specially crafted request. It turned up in version 2.4.49, which was released on September 15, and the Apache crew is not aware of any exploit.

Continue readingRaspberry Pi looks to set up African retail channel to make buying a mini computer there as easy as Pi High shipping costs barrier to access for many of continent’s inhabitants

Raspberry Pi said yesterday it would be pushing to get its miniature computers into more shops across Africa, admitting that its presence on the continent was limited to a single approved reseller with commercial ops in a few countries in southern Africa.

Writing on the company blog, Ken Okolo said he had been recently appointed to focus on building a network of resellers and partnerships across industry and the education sector in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Uganda.

Previously Raspberry Pi was available through a South African reseller with "some commercial operations" in nearby countries, but the rest of the continent was vastly underserved, relying on e-commerce sites like Amazon and their high shipping rates, to dispatch the product from other parts of the globe.

Continue readingThings that are not PogChamp: Twitch has its source code, streamer payout data leaked MonkaS

Updated Links to torrents that contain 128GB of data seemingly pulled from the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming service have been posted to 4chan.

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Twitter user Sinoc229 posted a lengthy thread detailing the content of the files. Elliot Padfield of creator "incubator" Padfield Ventures, who's also had a browse through the documents, told The Register: "I believe the leak is legitimate... the codebase appears to be real."

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Cisco is warning customers that the base price of its hardware is scheduled to jump from the start of next month amid the "ongoing industry-wide global supply chain challenges" – and sources have told The Reg the rise will be 7 per cent.

This likely won't go down well with customers – nobody wants to pay more for routers and switches – but it's hardly a surprise: CEO Chuck Robbins said in May the firm was fighting for all the components it could buy as demand surged to a 10-year high, saying it was considering "strategic price increases."

A spokesperson at Cisco sent us a statement:

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The explanation was posted on the page about "ways to install Windows 11." It may be that Microsoft always intended this, but it also follows intense feedback from users frustrated or annoyed at not being able to upgrade to the latest Windows.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted on LinkedIn about the "start of a new generation of Windows," comments included "My 2015 iPad is capable of running the latest iOS. Meanwhile, Microsoft has chosen to obsolete hardware that's only 2-3 years old. Ludicrous," and "This entails a significant effort in production which also comes at the worst time due to supply chain shortages."

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One analyst speaking to The Register said that while the overlapping announcements showed vendors' interest in process mining, most companies were a long way from making use of IoT data across functional silos.

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The update follows bridges for the likes of Teams, Slack and – recently – WhatsApp. The timing is interesting considering the recent woes of the Facebook tentacle.

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HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 07 Oct 2021 01:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/0cb7b00818c8d9839e09d76c488cdefa44e9c9ea/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/c6e3c53140449b5437e631f0aa65e2acda7f855d/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/c6e3c53140449b5437e631f0aa65e2acda7f855d/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 07 Oct 2021 01:00:05 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy03us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 69a330c5e93217c8-MEL PCI-Express 6.0 specification only months away • The Register

Or will do in practical terms when devices start appearing, anyway


A key standard set to double data transfer speeds between the main components of computers will be finalized in a matter of months.

The final specification for PCI-Express 6.0 is targeted for the end of this year or early 2022, Al Yanes, president and chairperson of the standards organization PCI-Special Interest Group, told The Register this week.

"The rule of thumb is that we typically see products utilizing the latest PCIe architecture 12 to 18 months after final specification release," Yanes added.

You know the drill: PCIe typically links up microprocessors, GPUs, IO devices, and data storage in systems ranging from home PCs to cloud servers to some embedded devices. PCI-SIG is in the final stages of approving the specification, and released what may be its last revision, version 0.9, today.

The new specification will succeed PCI-Express 5.0, which was finalized in 2019.

The 6.0 spec supports up to 64 gigatransfers per second, which in practical terms means up to 128 GB/s per direction in a x16 configuration, which is double that of PCIe 5.0. By comparison, PCI-Express 1.0, which was released in 2003, had a transfer rate of 2.5 GT/s, which translates to 4GB/s per direction with x16. PCI-Express 6.0 will be backwards compatible with previous generations, we're told. Upgrades to the PCI-Express standards have been in increments of two years since PCIe 4.0, which was ratified in 2017.

The faster transfer rates are needed due to the rise in data-hungry applications that include artificial intelligence, Yanes said.

"PCIe 6.0 technology bandwidth capabilities are more suited for high end applications at this time... accelerators, machine learning and HPC applications that need high IO bandwidth," he told us.

The protocol has gained a low-latency data error correction mechanism called forward error correction (FEC), in addition to CRC, to make the increased bandwidth viable. It also, interestingly enough, uses PAM-4 [PDF] encoding, which is seen in fast Ethernet and GDDR6X. There are other tricks up its sleeve – a technical overview is here [PDF].

It will be a while until PCs get PCIe 6.0 interfaces. If not because it's going to take extra care to lay out motherboards that can handle the high-speed signalling, then because the chipsets just won't be ready.

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment on when it would add PCIe 6.0 support to its components, though said it was supporting PCIe 5.0 in the upcoming processors code-named Alder Lake; its Sapphire Rapids and Ponte Vecchio will support PCIe 5.0, too. Otherwise the latest Intel Xeon and 11th-gen Core parts support PCIe 4.0.

An Nvidia spokesperson declined to comment on when it would bring in PCIe 6.0 support. The company's chips, like the BlueField-3 DPU for data centers, can handle PCIe 5.0. AMD did not respond to a request for comment. The biz's most recent desktop and data-center chips support PCIe 4.0, we note.

The evolving automotive sector is hot on semiconductors, and PCI-SIG is looking to cash in.

"We have seen tremendous interest in automobile solutions and we have formed a new PCIe technical workgroup to focus on how to increase the adoption of PCIe technology in automobile industry due to the increased demand for bandwidth in that ecosystem," Yanes said. ®


Other stories you might like

Marvell has produced samples of a server microprocessor with up to 24 Arm-compatible cores that could be used for applications involving artificial intelligence as well as network management, a spokesperson told The Register.

These chips are part of the Octeon family, and Marvell refers to them as data processing units. They are designed to run high-throughput code in cloud and data center environments, the company said.

"We are sampling Octeon silicon to our customers and they're working to bring their products to market next year," a spokeswoman said this week.

Continue readingEU readies 'antitrust charges' against Apple Pay for locking rivals out of iPhone NFC chip Monopoly is a board game, not a handbook

Apple's decision to only allow Apple Pay to access the NFC chip in iPhones could result in the Silicon Valley giant paying hefty anti-monopoly fines in Europe.

The EU is set to file anti-competitive charges against Cupertino regarding its tap-to-pay system, Reuters reported, citing sources. Euro antitrust watchdogs are apparently not happy that the NFC chips in iPhones and iPads are restricted to the iGiant's Pay software, unfairly locking out alternative wireless payment apps.

The charges will be the result of a European Commission investigation that started last year into Apple's terms and conditions with merchants, the limited access to the NFC hardware, and more.

Continue readingOpen Sesame, says Google... to voice identification: Speech ID adds biometric security to call-centre bots Eleven. Eleh-ven. Ala-vuhn*. Oh never mind

Google has launched a speech identification system aimed at commercial call centres – leaving some biometric security questions unanswered at the same time.

According to the Chocolate Factory, Speaker ID is a way of identifying callers using just their voice, seemingly avoiding annoying and time-consuming ID check from the call centre agents. It even works, so Google says, without requiring a special text or password – voices can be identified from a sample of natural speech.

The omnipresent search and email giant has launched the product in conjunction with its existing Contact Center AI (CCAI), claiming the speech bot package has created a 20 to 35 per cent call deflection away from agents, between $1.3m and $3.7m productivity gains per centre in reduced average call times, and up to 75 per cent reduction in effort to manage contact centre solutions. All this according to a study commissioned by Google and conducted by Forrester Consulting in August 2020.

Continue readingProgress report: Asahi Linux brings forth a usable basic desktop on Apple's M1 Drivers slip into the kernel as team ponders GPU hardware

Efforts to bring Linux to Apple Silicon have resulted in a basic functional desktop, according to the Asahi Linux team.

The project kicked off in earnest with a lengthy blog post earlier this year detailing the challenges involved in getting the OS onto Apple's latest and greatest.

Since then Apple M1 support has been sidling into the Linux kernel and by August the GNOME desktop was shown booting up with the experience described as "not great, but usable."

Continue readingRunning a recent Apache web server version? You probably need to patch it. Now Unless you want to leak like a sieve

The Apache Software Foundation has hurried out a patch to address a pair of HTTP Web Server vulnerabilities, at least one of which is already being actively exploited.

Apache's HTTP Server is widely used, and the vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-41524 and CVE-2021-41773, aren't great. The latter, a path traversal and file disclosure flaw, is particularly problematic.

The former was reported to Apache's security team on 17 September and can be exploited by an external source to DoS a server with a specially crafted request. It turned up in version 2.4.49, which was released on September 15, and the Apache crew is not aware of any exploit.

Continue readingRaspberry Pi looks to set up African retail channel to make buying a mini computer there as easy as Pi High shipping costs barrier to access for many of continent’s inhabitants

Raspberry Pi said yesterday it would be pushing to get its miniature computers into more shops across Africa, admitting that its presence on the continent was limited to a single approved reseller with commercial ops in a few countries in southern Africa.

Writing on the company blog, Ken Okolo said he had been recently appointed to focus on building a network of resellers and partnerships across industry and the education sector in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Uganda.

Previously Raspberry Pi was available through a South African reseller with "some commercial operations" in nearby countries, but the rest of the continent was vastly underserved, relying on e-commerce sites like Amazon and their high shipping rates, to dispatch the product from other parts of the globe.

Continue readingThings that are not PogChamp: Twitch has its source code, streamer payout data leaked MonkaS

Updated Links to torrents that contain 128GB of data seemingly pulled from the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming service have been posted to 4chan.

Without a trace of irony, the anonymous poster described Twitch as "a disgusting toxic cesspool," and linked to the data, which they alleged contains the source code for the Twitch site, references to a Valve Steam marketplace competitor called Vapour, other bits of released and unreleased software, and data on payouts made to Twitch creators.

Twitter user Sinoc229 posted a lengthy thread detailing the content of the files. Elliot Padfield of creator "incubator" Padfield Ventures, who's also had a browse through the documents, told The Register: "I believe the leak is legitimate... the codebase appears to be real."

Continue readingSupply chain pain: Cisco's base price structure moving north from November Demand for components at a 10-year high

Cisco is warning customers that the base price of its hardware is scheduled to jump from the start of next month amid the "ongoing industry-wide global supply chain challenges" – and sources have told The Reg the rise will be 7 per cent.

This likely won't go down well with customers – nobody wants to pay more for routers and switches – but it's hardly a surprise: CEO Chuck Robbins said in May the firm was fighting for all the components it could buy as demand surged to a 10-year high, saying it was considering "strategic price increases."

A spokesperson at Cisco sent us a statement:

Continue readingWant to check out Windows 11 but don't want to buy a new PC? Here's how to bypass the hardware requirements Microsoft does not recommend this

Microsoft has softened its stance on hardware requirements for Windows 11 by documenting a way to bypass them – though it warns against doing so and states that it is unsupported and will not be entitled to updates.

The explanation was posted on the page about "ways to install Windows 11." It may be that Microsoft always intended this, but it also follows intense feedback from users frustrated or annoyed at not being able to upgrade to the latest Windows.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted on LinkedIn about the "start of a new generation of Windows," comments included "My 2015 iPad is capable of running the latest iOS. Meanwhile, Microsoft has chosen to obsolete hardware that's only 2-3 years old. Ludicrous," and "This entails a significant effort in production which also comes at the worst time due to supply chain shortages."

Continue readingCelonis and Software AG target IoT and streaming process mining as firms grapple with data overload Newcomer specialist and elderly data integration generalist make their pitches

Two software vendors with very different backgrounds are launching technology aimed at understanding operational processes based on IoT and streaming data this week.

Hotly tipped data mining specialist Celonis, which raised $1bn in a funding round earlier this year, has bought data streaming outfit Lense.io and launched technology for mapping and comparing business processes with a graph database. Meanwhile, Software AG, a data integration firm dating back to the late 1960s, has launched new tech aimed at understanding operational processes through IoT data.

One analyst speaking to The Register said that while the overlapping announcements showed vendors' interest in process mining, most companies were a long way from making use of IoT data across functional silos.

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Interview Matrix-based communications and collaboration app Element has continued its mission to make bridges into the decentralised network a little more commercially acceptable with connectivity for Signal.

The update follows bridges for the likes of Teams, Slack and – recently – WhatsApp. The timing is interesting considering the recent woes of the Facebook tentacle.

Amandine Le Pape, co-founder of Element, had already given WhatsApp a jab with the privacy blade the last time we spoke and Element's CEO, Matthew Hodgson, joined the party during our chat about the Signal bridge.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3BjRpyJ