PXIe Generation Compatibility And Throughputs

Updated Aug 26, 2022

Reported In


  • PXI Chassis
  • PXI Remote Control Module
  • PXI Components

Issue Details

  • Can I use PXIe Generation 2 cards in a PXIe Generation 3 slot or vice versa? 
  • Can I replace a Gen 2 PXIe module with a Gen 3 PXIe module?
  • Can I use a PXIe Gen1 x4 module inside a PXIe Gen2 x1 chassis? What will be the resultant throughput?


There are no physical slot differences between different generations of PXIe cards. You can expect backward compatibility through various PXI/PXIe generations and can replace older modules with the newer version of that same module. However, the different generations will have differences in maximum data transfer rate:
Number of LanesGen 1Gen 2Gen 3
x1250 MB/s500 MB/s1 GB/s
x41 GB/s2 GB/s4 GB/s
x82 GB/s4 GB/s8 GB/s
x164 GB/s8 GB/s16 GB/s

Please note that the throughput of a PXIe peripheral module inside a PXIe chassis will be limited by the minimum value of generation and the number of lanes. For instance, if you are using a Gen1 x4 (1GB/s) PXIe Module inside a Gen2 x1 (500MB/s) PXIe chassis , the final link based on this configuration will be min [Gen1, Gen2] = Gen1 and min[x4, x1] = x1 i.e., Gen1, x1 link providing 250MB/s.


Additional Information

The above-mentioned throughputs are the theoretical values only. The actual throughput depends on a number of factors, such as encoding, code optimizations, etc.