Today’s users appreciate the modularity, robustness and economic efficiency of CompactPCI®. Based on this established standard, CompactPCI® Serial offers all these advantages plus fast serial data transfer, including a migration path.
In recent years, parallel PCI bus technology has more and more been complemented by fast serial point-to-point connections. Different interface standards are taking root, e.g. SATA or SAS, USB, Ethernet or PCI Express®. The structure of computers is slowly changing from bus-based to a point-to-point star topology.
The serial CompactPCI® concept includes two new technologies: CompactPCI® PlusIO and CompactPCI® Serial.
PICMG 2.30 CompactPCI® PlusIO
PICMG 2.30 CompactPCI® PlusIO complements the basic CompactPCI® standard PICMG 2.0. It defines the pin assignment and the function of the user pins on the J2 connector for 32-bit system slots. CompactPCI® PlusIO uses these BP(I/O) signals for leading 4 PCI Express® x1 links, 4 SATA, 4 USB 2.0 as well as 2 Ethernet 1000Base-T interfaces to the backplane. CPU boards that support PICMG 2.30 (3U/6U) remain compatible to the CompactPCI® basic standard without limitations and can also be used in existing systems.
CompactPCI® Serial, in contrast to CompactPCI® PlusIO, is a new independent basic standard designated PICMG CPCI-S.0. This standard introduces a completely new connector. This enables a much higher signal density and supports even higher transmission frequencies of 12 Gb/s and more. CompactPCI® Serial is based on the mechanics of CompactPCI®, so it remains compatible to IEC 1101, but it only supports modern point-to-point connections. This compatibility allows to use all standard 19" system solutions, because the dimensions of the backplanes are identical and are fixed in the same way. The front panels, handles, and the well-proven hot plug mechanics – the switch in the handle – also remain the same. Only the connector is replaced by a modern type which is able to support the high frequencies.
The CompactPCI® Serial architecture, a simple star combined with a complete mesh for Ethernet, functions without switches and bridges. There is a system slot and up to eight peripheral slots with congruent pin assignments.
The rugged CompactPCI® Serial/PlusIO products from MEN are especially suited for transportation and other mobile applications, e.g. for infotainment systems, as well as for mission-critical industrial systems.