The Compute eXpress Link standard essentially allows add-in cards such as GPUs or persistent memory devices such as SSDs to access bandwidth levels similar to system RAM through PCIe lanes, dramatically reducing latency and improving transfer speeds. For now, CXL is only seeing nascent adoption in the server market, as Intel’s Sapphire Rapids and AMD’s EPYC Genoa are expected to cement industry support with PCIe 5.0-based specs, but this technology should eventually make its way to mainstream platforms, if AMD estimates are anything to go by. How long? Probably not before 2025.
During AMD‘s latest “Meet the Experts” webinar, the prospect of bringing CXL to desktops and laptops was mooted, as AMD Senior Developer Manager Leah Schoeb explained why storage solutions didn’t have currently no access to the memory bus:
This is something we are looking at with technologies like CXL. So you’ll discover over the next three to five years, you’ll see it first in the server area, but you’ll discover going down into the client area, ways to make sure that memory and storage can communicate on the same bus through CXL.
Phison, the leading manufacturer of PCIe controllers, was present at the event through its Senior Director of Technical Marketing Chris Ramseyer, who specifically commented on the formation of a CXL ecosystem involving several industry giants:
[…] it’s going to be another ecosystem-like project, where it’s not just Phison and not just AMD putting it all together. We’re all going to have to work together to get there, and these collaborations have really moved PCs forward over the past few years. […]
Knowing AMD’s CPU release cycles, the first CPUs with dedicated CXL circuits could release with the Zen 6 family sometime in 2026. This would also be the time when the CXL-enabled PCIe 6.0 specifications will have been adopted by consumers. .
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I first entered the wonderful world of IT&C when I was about seven years old. I was immediately fascinated by computer graphics, whether from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I’m also an avid science fiction reader, astrophysics enthusiast, and crypto geek. I started writing PC articles for Softpedia and a few blogs in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mainly covering CPU, GPU, and laptops.