Work in progress to define CompactPCI Plus -

Work in progress to define CompactPCI Plus


LONDON — The PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) has formed a technical subcommittee to extend the current CompactPCI standard for both the 3U and 6U form factors mainly for applications in industry, avionics, transportation, and medical. It will also prove useful in telecom systems based on CompactPCI.

The PICMG subcommittee members understand that CompactPCI Plus does not cover the same market segments as MicroTCA and the current CompactPCI standard lacks support of serial busses like PCI Express, Ethernet, SATA/ SAS and USB at the backplane. CompactPCI Express with support for PCI Express has no rear I/O and there is no cost effective migration path from CompactPCI without bridge slots. Switched fabrics shall not be required and thus not be defined.

The basic idea is to define a new peripheral slot supporting PCI Express as well as SATA/SAS, USB and Ethernet. Such slots can be used for PCI Express expansions, but also for hard disk raids, Ethernet switches, USB-based WiFi solutions.

The idea is to support all modern busses on each peripheral board. A star architecture will be used to connect the system slot to the peripheral slots. An additional connector at the right-hand side, resulting in a two-slot system solution, shall extend the current 3U CompactPCI system slot.

Currently available CPU products can be extended to support the serial busses on the second slot. A standard backplane would consist of legacy slots on the left-hand side, the system slot at the centre and the new peripheral slots on the right-hand side. If in the future legacy PCI will not be required, the system slot could be reduced to single slot.

The system slot extension shall support a minimum of eight SATA/SAS lines, eight PCI express interfaces (x4 and minimum one by x16), 16 USB interfaces and 8 Ethernet channels. So all in all eight CompactPCI Plus peripheral slots are available.

The connector for CompactPCI Plus must support differential high-speed signals. The data rate shall be minimum 10 Gbps to support also the next generation of serial busses such as SATA3.0, PCIE 2.0, USB 3.0 etc. 12 V at 8 Amps shall be supported for power supply. Mechanics shall be compliant to the current CompactPCI standard supporting 4-HP boards with unmodified front panels.

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