The consortium that develops the PCI technology for plugging devices such as network cards into computers has created a new specification for the technology. The specification will make it easier for computer makers to adopt a new version of the technology called PCI Express without abandoning support for the traditional PCI lineage. The PCI-SIG released the specification, which lets computer makers use PCI Express, then add a bridge to easily graft on the latest version of the older PCI, called PCI-X.
Moving the technologies closer together is important for companies that want to reduce design and manufacturing costs while still supporting both technologies. Intel is among the biggest backers of PCI Express, but among server makers, where the demand for input-output capacity is greater, PCI-X has strong support.