Hales on PCIe over USB (or lack thereof)


Last Friday I talked about the potential to repurpose Wi-Fi card slots on motherboards for other uses. This would be silly on a regular motherboard, but on a slot-constrained environment like Mini-ITX it offers a rare potential for internal expansion.

Using M2 Wi-Fi card slots for other things

One of the connectors I found passed PCIe over USB, or I so I thought. Hales emailed with a correction:

Surprisingly these actually don’t use any USB signalling or do anything USB related. They use USB 3 cables because they are a convenient and cheap set of wires for sending PCIE signals over a short distance (they have some matched pair wires in them that are good for high speed digital signals). It’s PCIE all the way down, USB is merely an illusion.

Huh! It reminds me of those HDMI-over-Ethernet devices.

Would I be showing my age to admit that I’ve used INTERLNK/INTERSRV and EGA on the same cables too? If so, please disregard.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or send a comment. Thanks ☺️.