What’s New

Simplifying sensors – an update on PICMG Industrial IoT standards

Doug Sandy |

“Simple is Hard”, so the saying goes. Reducing the essence of a complex idea or system into something that is readily understood and easy to use takes time, effort, and creativity. Never has this been truer than today’s push toward Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). While much progress has been made with cloud analytics and backend support, the sensor domain has remained largely impervious to change. With multitudes of different sensors, interfaces, and applications, standardization has been a
necessary but missing ingredient. Simplifying this problem is hard.
In 2019, the PICMG® standards organization, in collaboration with the DMTF®, launched two new industry specifications targeted at bringing plug-and-play to the sensor domain of IIoT. The first of these specifications focuses on a small hardware module that today’s sensor vendors can use to create smart sensor nodes. The second specification defines a network architecture and data model that ensures uniformity at the software level. Our aim is to enable and accelerate industrial smart sensor market by making their creation and deployment simple.

To date, PICMG made great strides toward the standardization of the sensor domain for Industrial IoT. The hardware technical subcommittee has defined the physical signals, communication interface, environmental conditions and started tackling the configuration and connector needs. The Network Architecture and Data Model technical subcommittee, on the other hand, has focused more on the overall network architecture, to enable sensor plug-and-play. We have created a framework for the architecture and behavior of the various elements and selected communications protocols.

For a full discussion, please go to http://picmg.mil-embedded.com/articles/simplifying-sensors-an-update-on-picmg-industrial-iot-standards/

COM-HPC gains momentum

Jess Isquith |

Over the past year, activity behind the COM-HPC initiative has intensified: The team of 20-plus companies reached significant milestones in 2019, including approving the pinout of the new high-performance Computer-on-Module specification. Now – with the adoption of this pinout – all committee members have a solid basis from which to work on standard-compliant carrier board designs that offer interfaces supporting up to 100 GbE and PCIe Gen 4.0 and Gen 5.0, with up to eight DIMM sockets, and high-speed processors of more than 200 watts on standardized COM-HPC modules. The initial specification is expected to be ratified in the first half of 2020; early spec- compatible products are in the design phase. To accelerate development efforts, the committee formed two subgroups focusing on signal-integrity challenges and defining management software elements of the new specification.

CompactPCI® Serial Extensions Underway

Jess Isquith |

PICMG is pleased to announce the formation of a new CompactPCI Serial technical subcommittee.
CompactPCI Serial is a modern modular computer standard that has achieved great success in multiple industries, including transportation and industrial automation. Its key features are simplicity, flexibility, and robustness which enable cost-optimized solutions. The new technical subcommittee has the goal of extending the current CompactPCI Serial specification with an update covering requirements for modern high-speed applications and will strive for maximum interoperability between the current revision and this extension. Extending the standard will guarantee further success in existing applications and open new opportunities.
The committee’s stated goals are to support PCIe Gen4 and Gen5; add Ethernet KR4 support; evaluate USB4; support a redundant system slot similar to CompactPCI Serial for Space; and will recommend a robust “utility connector” with locks or screws.
EKF, Hartmann, and nVent are sponsoring the effort. The following PICMG members have joined the initiative which kicks off in February: Acromag, Inc., ADLINK, Airbus Defence & Space, Amphenol – BSI, DESY, Elma Electronic, Embeck, FASTWEL, HEITEC, Lodz University of Technology, MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH, National Instruments, nVent, Schroff GmbH, Samtec, and TE Connectivity.