What is PICMG?
Founded in 1994, PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) is a nonprofit consortium of companies and organizations that collaboratively develop open standards for high performance telecommunications, military, industrial, and general purpose embedded computing applications. Its original mission was to extend the PCI standard to non-desktop applications.
There are over 140 member companies that specialize in a wide range of technical disciplines, including mechanical and thermal design, single board computer design, very high speed signaling design and analysis, networking expertise, backplane and packaging design, power management, High Availability software, and comprehensive system management.
Equipment built to PICMG standards is used worldwide and anyone can build or use equipment without restriction (although certain technologies used for some military applications may be subject to U.S. export restrictions governed by ITAR rules).
Key standards families developed by PICMG include CompactPCI®, AdvancedTCA®, MicroTCA®, AdvancedMC®, CompactPCI® Serial, COM Express®, SHB Express®, MicroSAM, COM-HPC. and HPM (Hardware Platform Management).
In its 25 years of operation, PICMG has published over 50 specifications developed by participants from hundreds of companies. Work across a wide range of markets, applications, and technologies continues as the boundaries of datacom, telecom, mil/aero, industrial, man machine interface applications, and deeply embedded computing blur.
A rigorous Intellectual Property Policy ensures early discovery of any member-owned IP, and all members must agree to RAND (Reasonable and Non Discriminatory) licensing of any IP written into a standard. To date, no PICMG standard requires any license or royalty to build or operate. PICMG’s Intellectual Property Policy is one of the best, if not the best, policies in the computer standards world.
A formal, multi-step development process is used that is both rigorous and fair, and development work can be periodically be reviewed by all member companies, although work inside of a technical subcommittee is confidential to the members of that committee until their work is ready for broader review by other members. Until a specification or standards related document is ratified by the entire membership it is confidential to PICMG. After ratification, all documents are available to the general public.
Why use PICMG standards?
With a large number of contributing member companies, PICMG standards reflect the extremely wide and deep technical capabilities of its members. By using well understood and proven open standards, vendors can bring products to market quickly. Customers gain from the price and performance competition that results from many vendors operating in an open marketplace.
Thousands of products ranging from components, subsystems, and complete application ready systems are commercially available and represent over $5B USD in yearly global revenue.
PICMG’s Organizational Structure
The organization is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation and is led by a group of elected officers and is comprised of four levels of membership Technical subcommittees, under the direction of the Technical Officer, are responsible for the development of PICMG standards and specifications. PICMG is committed to open standards, available to all and developed by member companies who represent a broad cross-section of the marketplace. To enable participation by companies both large and small, we have maintained an accessible dues structure. Learn more about membership and consider joining today.
Contact information for PICMG is available here.