PCI-SIG approves PCIe 4.0 standard
Double the PCIe 3.0 bandwidth

PCIe 3.0 graphics cards have yet to hit the mainstream market, but PCI-SIG -- the group responsible for the PCI standard -- has already approved 16 gigatransfers per second (GT/s) as the bit rate for the next generation of PCIe architecture. This is effectively double the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0.

PCI-SIG says the new standard should be announced in 2014, and integration into the enterprise and mainstream markets should start in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

While the new standard doubles PCIe 3.0, the group has determined PCIe 4.0 can be manufactured in mainstream silicon process, run copper interconnects, and maintain the same power levels as the current gen 3.0 standard. This is quite impressive for a technology that can process 16 billion discrete chunks of data per second, but the icing on the cake is it will be fully backwards compatible.