I`d like to share with the readers the New article devoted to CompactPCI Serial Specification provided by Joe Pavlat and PICMG Consortium team.This might be interesting for those who design and develop high-efficient multipurpose embedded systems for mission critical applications.
The article was originally published in Open System Media Source
Open standards for embedded computing offer the customer a wide range of products, vendor independence, and a fairly predictable upgrade path to incorporate new semiconductor, storage, and software technologies. The standards themselves are generally developed and maintained by open organizations or consortia that work to be inclusive and not beholden to one or a few companies. There are many successful open standards organizations in operation, and the IEEE, PICMG, and VITA are among the best known.
One of PICMG’s early successful standards is CompactPCI, which incorporates the wealth of PCI silicon developed for the desktop PC world into a modular and rugged standard for embedded computing. First released in 1995, it continues to be the solution of choice for a very wide range of applications, including the Mars rover, Curiosity (I just never get tired of saying that).
Over the last ten years or so, the parallel PCI bus has given way to a serial version, PCI Express. Serial buses are faster and the chips cheaper, because they trade pin count (which is expensive) for a larger number of transistors (which are essentially free). Other buses, including USB and Serial ATA (SATA) have followed suit. The granddaddy of all serial communications interfaces, Ethernet, is still with us and just keeps getting faster.
CompactPCI Serial – Revision 2
A few years ago, PICMG released a new version of CompactPCI known as CompactPCI Serial. It provides a tenfold or so increase in performance, more interconnectivity using fewer pins, and cost-effective features such as the inclusion of multi-channel Ethernet without the need for a switch. It is already popular in Europe where it was developed, and its popularity is now moving around the globe. The vendor base continues to grow, and now includes MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH, Elma Electronic, Fastwel, EKF Elektronik GmbH, ADLINK Technology, Hartmann Electronic, Schroff GmbH, Teledyne Lecroy, ADDI-DATA, Kontron and others.
A new revision of the standard in now being released, Revision 2. It adds incremental features and capabilities, which is typical of revisions to well-established standards. CompactPCI Serial Revision 2 now supports placement of the system slot on either the left or right side of the backplane. More importantly, Revision 2 supports additional rear I/O on the P6 connector and increased capability on rear transition modules (RTMs). Graphics, USB, SATA, and other system slot connections can now be routed out the rear, important for conduction cooling applications where the front module is fully encased. PCI Express can also be routed out the rear, making it possible to easily interconnect multiple homogeneous or heterogeneous PCI Express systems.
|Figure 1: CompactPCI Serial supports both 3U and 6U configurations. Shown here is an example 9-slot, 3U CompactPCI Serial system (Figure courtesy MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH).(Click graphic to zoom)|
|Figure 2: Depicted here is an example CompactPCI Serial backplane with the P6 connector configured for multiple rear Ethernet connections (Figure courtesy of MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH).(Click graphic to zoom by 1.9x)|
AdvancedTCA 100G Ethernet
Driven by the need for higher bandwidth in mobility, video, and security, this effort will provide capacity improvement to the AdvancedTCA (ATCA) specification by incorporating 100 Gb backplane Ethernet while maintaining backward compatibility. Formally designated PICMG 3.1 R3.0, the 100G ATCA standard will update the PICMG 3.1 specification to incorporate 100GBASE-KR4 (NRZ) Ethernet signaling. This effort began in early 2015, and work is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It is being headed by Doug Sandy, CTO of PICMG and Artesyn Embedded Technologies, who also lead the successful 40G ATCA effort a couple years back.
IPv6 for AdvancedTCA
Hardware platform management (HPM) has been an integral part of ATCA since the beginning, and it was originally specified to use 32-bit IP addresses according to the IPv4 protocol. However, IPv4 supports 4 billion distinct IP addresses, and in the emerging world of Internet of Everything and billions of interconnected devices, this is not enough. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, so more than 3.4 x 1038 devices can be directly addressed. This new feature will be released as an Engineering Change Notice to the current revision of ATCA, Revision 3.0, helping get this much needed capability to the market quickly. The IPv6 feature is completely optional and does not affect backwards compatibility in any way, so all existing ATCA-compliant systems will remain so.
40G for MicroTCA and AMC
The 40G MicroTCA and AMC effort is well underway. The next issue will explore this in more detail.