PICMG Open Modular Computing Standards CompactPCI Overview
The CompactPCI® family of specifications define a low cost,
modular, and scalable approach to building systems suitable for an extremely wide range of industrial, commercial, aerospace, military, instrumentation, data acquisition, communications, telephony, machine control, and man machine interface applications.
CompactPCI, first introduced in 1999, has continued to evolve new applications – including the two main computers on the Mars Rover, Curiosity.
CompactPCI’s success is due in no small part to its adoption of the parallel PCI bus as the main data bus. PCI was the first universal, processor-independent computer bus that was adopted by all major microprocessor manufacturers. Hundreds of processors chipsets and thousands of peripheral chips utilize PCI. By leveraging low cost silicon and software developed for PCI, CompactPCI has become the world’s most popular modular open computer architecture designed for embedded applications.
The PICMG 2.16 version of CompactPCI defined the industry’s first switched fabric Ethernet backplane architecture that allowed more than a dozen processor boards to be interconnected as a local high speed LAN in a single chassis.
Key Benefits and Features
- 3U and 6U Eurocard form factors are defined utilizing the popular IEEE 1101.1 and IEEE 1101.10 mechanical standards providing implementation flexibility and widely available off-the-shelf parts.
- Supports Hot Swap of boards while a system is operating. This enables mission critical systems.
- Convection cooled and conduction cooled modules are defined.
- Thousands of compliant products are commercially available, including processors, I/O cards, backplanes, card cages, system enclosures, and complete pre-packaged systems.
- Wide O/S support
- Scalable from a single board to large systems
- CompactPCI® Express version optimized for instrumentation and data acquisition applications
- CompactPCI® Serial migrates parallel PCI bus to serial PCI Express, SATA, Ethernet, and USB, offering higher performance while maintaining backwards compatibility.