PCI Express Gen5 High Power Connector up to 600W
A rumor about a new power connector for next-gen GPUs finds its confirmation.
Earlier this week we shared a published an article about the upcoming flagship GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics card, which is now set to launch in January. The graphics card is supposedly the first card to feature a PCIe Gen5 power connector, a new standard that will ultimately solve one of the biggest drawbacks of the current 8-pin power connector, an insufficient power it can provide (up to 150W).
Igor Wallossek from Igor’sLAB managed to obtain the schematics and the information on the new connector, confirming that there is indeed a new standard coming, possibly to all new graphics cards in 2022.
Just as we said, the power connector has 16 lanes in total (12 power and 4 signal lanes), but it’s not a MicroFit Molex standard, but something entirely new. The standard defined as has smaller spacing than existing connectors, a change from 4.2 mm to 3.0 mm. The connector has a width of 18.85 mm, so it is not exactly small, but much smaller than dual or triple 8-pin connector configuration. This will greatly simplify the circuit and PCB design process, not to mention all the space that will be saved.
The PCI-SIG specs define that each pin can sustain up to 9.2A, which means a total of 55.2 A at 12V. This gives a maximum power of 662W, but the specs officially go up to 600W, Igor notes. Along with twelve pins for power, there are additional 4 signal lanes right underneath the connector. At this moment it is unclear what is their purpose or whether they are required or optional.
Some manufacturers, such as Amphenol, have already begun listing the specs of the 12VHPWR connector:
Amphenol ICC introduces the Gen 5, Minitek® Pwr PCIe® connector system. This new introduction CEM 5.0 PCI Express® 12VHPWR auxiliary hybrid connector and cable assembly support the 600W GPU cards. The 12VHPWR connector is not designed to mate with legacy PCI Express® 2×3 and 2×4 12V Auxiliary Power connectors. The 12VHPWR connector power pins have a 3.00mm pitch, while the contacts in a legacy 2×3 and 2×4 connector lie on a larger 4.20mm pitch. New PCIe® Connector System (CEM5) is designed for power applications with current rating upto 9.5A/pin (12 pins energized) and the 4 signal pins supporting signal transmission.
- Rated current up to 9.5A per contact with all 12 power contacts and 4 Signal contacts
- Fully isolated terminals
- Positive locking on housing with low thumb latch operation
- Low level contact resistance: 6mΩ max.
What this also means is that NVIDIA’s 12-pin power connector will end up just like Virtual Link, no one will use it anymore and it will eventually be phased out. The first card to feature this connector is likely the rumored GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. So far no other card has been rumored to offer this standard.