Keysight Technologies, headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, is a global leader in technology and semiconductor solutions. The company has achieved a significant milestone in collaboration with Synopsys to validate the PCI Express (PCIe) 6.0 specification. This breakthrough paves the way for faster data transfer rates, enhancing applications such as high-performance computing (HPC), AI inference engines, and cloud-based software. With the PCIe 6.0 specification doubling the data transfer rate to 64 GT/s per pin, the potential for advancements in various fields, including big data analytics and data centers, is substantial.

Keysight Logo


Keysight faced several challenges in their journey to validate the PCIe 6.0 specification:
  • Bandwidth Limitation: SSDs and SoCs were limited by the bandwidth of the SSD socket, which was gated by the PCIe data rate.
  • Signal Quality: Ensuring a clean and successful exchange between two ends of a link without trips to recovery caused by aberrations in signal quality.
  • Complex Specifications: The PCIe v6.0 specification is complex, with close to 2,000 pages, making it challenging to ensure compliance and interoperability.
  • Sensitive Links: Even minor disruptions, such as a bumped wire, could trigger a trip to recovery and renegotiations.


To address these challenges, Keysight and Synopsys utilized a combination of advanced testing and prototyping tools:

  • PCIe Testing Solutions: Keysight’s comprehensive portfolio includes a protocol analyzer that examines traffic moving across the link and an exerciser at the end point for compliance and stress testing.
  • Prototyping System: The end-to-end hardware linkup was completed with the Synopsys HAPS®-100 prototyping system, which was connected to a 64G PHY daughtercard connected to a controller to form the complete system.
  • Dynamic Negotiation: Establishing the linkup at L0 involved sending data packets first at a slow speed and negotiating up to the higher speed across the serial link, exchanging equalization information along the way.


The implementation of the solution led to significant results:

  • Increased Bandwidth: The PCIe 6.0 specification provided a data transfer rate of 64 GT/s, effectively doubling the bandwidth for SSD SoCs.
  • Enhanced Performance: Enabled real-time data connectivity with low latency and high throughput for HPC, storage, and AI SoCs.
  • Successful Interoperability: The rigorous demonstration of a two-party linkup validated interoperability and set the stage for the deployment of PCIe 6.0 devices.
  • Industry Recognition: The collaboration between Keysight and Synopsys was showcased at the DesignCon high-speed communications and system design conference, highlighting their leadership in PCIe 6.0 technology.

These results underscore the impact of Keysight Technologies' innovative solutions in advancing high-speed data transfer technologies, ultimately driving progress across multiple high-performance applications.