PICMG’s charter is to develop completely open industry standards for the “non-desktop,” specialized computer market. Our open standards are sometimes described as “COTS” (Commercial off the Shelf) or “MOSA” (Modular Open Standards Architectures) technologies. Anyone can use or build to PICMG standards, and no licenses or royalties are necessary for either use or manufacture.
Any interested individual or company can join PICMG, a non-profit financed largely through membership dues, and play an important role. Suppliers and users of industrial, telecommunications, data acquisition, mil/aero, transportation, user interface, and security equipment are encouraged to join the community of designers, integrators, and users of PICMG technologies. PICMG is a “flat” organization that encourages collaboration and is not controlled by any single company or small group of companies. Robust Intellectual Property policies and formal Policies and Procedures ensure fair, transparent, and open technology development processes. PICMG is governed by the entire Executive Membership, who act as the Board of Directors (see GOVERNANCE).
In almost 30 years of existence, PICMG has published, developed, maintained, and expanded more than 50 individual specifications grouped into nine broad product families. These specs address a broad range of applications ranging from small single-board computers to large, highly reliable platforms for critical telecommunications infrastructure that can process up to 10 terabits/second of data in a single chassis. Groups who develop these standards are interested in accomplishing a goal quickly, and bureaucracy and politics are almost always kept to a minimum. Participating companies also benefit from knowledge of the standard prior to its release, resulting in the accelerated development of compliant and leading-edge products.
The large and technically diverse membership brings a huge talent and experience base for problem-solving that is beyond the reach of even most of the largest companies in the computer industry. PICMG member skills include mechanical and thermal design, electronics and processor design, high-speed signaling, simulation, and layout, ruggedization, data acquisition, software, high-reliability system design, packaging, system integration, and many more.