Monthly Archives: April 2015

New Revision of CompactPCI Serial


A few years ago, PICMG released a new version of CompactPCI known as CompactPCI Serial. It provides a ten-fold or so increase in performance, more interconnectivity using fewer pins, and cost effective features including 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.

A new revision of the standardis now in final adoption ballot, Revision 2.  It adds incremental features and capabilities, which is typical of revisions to well established standards. It 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, which is 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 homogenous or heterogeneous PCI Express systems.

It should be available for general distribution in May.

IPv6 for AdvancedTCA


Hardware Platform Management 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. 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 times ten-to-the-thirty-eighth power devices can be directly addressed. This new feature has been ratified and will be released in a few weeks as an Engineering Change Notice (ECN) to the current revision of ATCA PICMG 3.0R3). A similar ECN for PICMG 3.7, ATCA Extensions, will follow shortly.

Engineering Change Notices  are a method PICMG uses to make permanent, binding changes to a specification without releasing a new revision. Once released, they become part of an existing specification. The IPv6 feature is completely optional and does not affect backwards compatibility in any way. All existing compliant ATCA systems will remain so. New systems can choose to implement this feature or not.