PICMG Open Modular Computing Standards CompactPCI Overview

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.

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CompactPCI — Kontron

CompactPCI — Kontron

Today’s demands on industrial PC technology require intelligent, cost-optimized products that are suitable for rugged environments and ensure longevity. These factors, along with many others, bring system designers back to the robust, modular and standardized CompactPCI / CPCI platforms. Available in both 3U and 6U form factors, this technology offers the latest and fastest Intel® Core™ processor technology for applications across all market spaces. Driven and supported by the PICMG group for more than 10 years, CompactPCI (CPCi) platforms are designed for modularity, ruggedization, Hot Swap, system management and provide densed computing performance, which is supported by optimized air or conduction cooled concepts.

To fulfill further market needs, the CompactPCI system platform provides:

  • Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware
  • Open and modular systems based on international standards
  • Robustness, high Mean Time between Failures, low Life Cycle Costs
  • Long product lifetime and short design in times
  • Support of real-time and standard operating system as well as tool chains
  • Broad range of third-party hardware and software products
  • Excellent Service & Support

Related Information

Military Rugged COTS
We offer one of the largest product
portfolios to Rugged COTS
customers, which include
VME, CompactPCI, and VPX.

​We support a range of COTS
PCI (PMCs) & Switched Mezzanine
Cards (XMCs) for VME & CPCI
Systems used in Commercial
or harsh environments.


Fastwel CPC503 6U cPCI CPU Module

Fastwel CPC503 6U cPCI CPU Module

  • Intel Core i7 2nd generation 2 cores (2.2 GHz and 1.5 GHz) / 4 cores (2.1 GHz)
  • DDR3 SDRAM 1333 MHz with ECC, up to 8, GB, dual channel, soldered
  • XMC/PMC expansion modules support (x8 PCI_E GEN2 + 64_bit / 133 MHz PCI_X)
  • 4×Gigabit Ethernet controllers (two ports switchable between P16 XMC connector and backplane, two ports available at the front panel)
  • 10×USB 2.0 ports with HS, FS and LS support (four on front panel, four via RIO, and two on P16 XMC)
  • 4×SATA II ports (one for 1.8″ HDD, one at P16 XMC, two via RIO)
  • 2×Displayport interfaces (one on front panel, one via RIO)
  • 1×DVI_I on front panel
  • 1×DVI_D via RIO
  • HD Audio via RIO and P16 XMC
  • LPC via RIO, P16 socket
  • Single shock/vibration resistance: 30g/2g (IEC 68-2-27-87; IEC 68-2-6-82)
  • –40…+85°C/ 0…+70°C ( IEC 68-2-1-74, IEC 68-2-2-74, IEC 68-2-14-84)
  • Linux 2.6, QNX 6.5.0, Windows 7
  • MTBF 100 000

The Fastwel CPC503 6U CompactPCI CPU module is an embedded computer on x86 platform
for use in server or client systems for a wide range of applications. CPC503 is based
on 2-nd generation Intel Core i7 (2/4 cores) processors operating at frequencies
from 1.5 to 2.2 GHz and on QM67 Peripheral Controller Hub.
Up to 8 GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory with ECC operating at 1333 MHz is soldered
onboard the CPC503.
CPC503 graphics capabilities include VGA, Displayport, DVI, and LVDS interfaces.
Four Gigabit Ethernet ports are used for networking.
Interface set of CPC503 also includes 12 USB 2.0 ports, four SATA channels, audio
interface and standard J1-J5 CompactPCI connectors at the rear edge of the board.
Fastwel CPC503 supports one XMC/PMC expansion module mounted onboard and
specially designed Fastwel RIO587 rear I/O module. CPC503 provides one 64-bit 66
MHz CompactPCI interface with hot swap capability. The module interfaces with
CompactPCI bus via the built-in PCI-E <-> PCI bridge, this allows using CPC503
either as master system controller or as a slave device in one PCI bus segment.
One of the features of CPC503 is support for PICMG CompactPCI Packet Switching
Backplane Specification version 2.16. Being installed on a backplane supporting the
packet switching mode, CPC503 can communicate with peripheral devices or with
the system master board supporting this mode via two Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The components of CPC503 are carefully selected according to the criteria of applicability
in embedded systems and long-term availability on the market. This makes
this module an ideal device, based on which the systems with long life cycle can be
CPC503 is compatible with Windows 7, QNX 6.5.0, VxWorks 6.8 (on request), and
Linux® 2.6 operating systems.