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October 6, 2021

PICMG Ratifies IoT.1 Firmware Specification for Smart IoT connected Sensors and Effecters

Industry NewsNewsPICMG

PICMG, a leading consortium for the development of open embedded computing specifications, announces the ratification of IoT.1 specification defining a communication standard between sensors / effecters and local IoT controllers such as micro Sensor Adapter Modules (microSAM) already specified by PICMGs IoT.0 specification.

The IoT.1 specification defines a firmware interface and low-level data model that provides for vendor-independent configuration of smart sensors and effecters, as well as plug and play interoperability with higher levels of the installation. IIoT.1 supports both sensing and profiled motion control required by most emerging Industry 4.0 applications.

The IoT.1 specification is the first work product from PICMG based on collaboration with the DMTF organization. PICMG’s IoT.1 specification leverages and extends the Platform Level Data Model (PLDM) specification from Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) in order to address the needs of industrial automation and control. PLDM is a low level messaging system that supports topologies, eventing and discovery and runs over a variety of system level buses such as I2C/SMBus and PCIeVDM (Vendor-Defined Message) over MCTP (Management Component Transport Protocol) as well as RBT (RMII-Based Transport (RMII = Reduced Media Independent Interface)) over NC-SI (Network Controller Sideband Interface).

IoT.1 was developed in order to benefit the industry in four specific ways:

  1. To enable sensor vendors to create smart sensors without having to manufacture the control circuitry and/or software by purchasing these components from PICMG-compliant suppliers
  2. To enable controller suppliers who wish to create smart sensors or smart-sensor components to do so in a way that is interoperable with other suppliers
  3. To enable sensor/effecter integrators to integrate sensors/effecters from multiple vendors with controllers from multiple vendors
  4. To accelerate the uptake of smart-sensor technology through open-specifications and interoperability

When combined with the PICMG sensor-domain network architecture and data model, sensors connected to MicroSAMs (PICMG IoT.0) or other controller modules will seamlessly integrate into the network with plug-and-play interoperability.

“Nothing like this has ever been done before in Industrial IoT – PICMG IoT.1 brings true multi-vendor plug and play interoperability to the sensor/effecter domain with flexible, open-standards based solutions,” said Doug Sandy, CTO of PICMG.

Jessica Isquith, president of PICMG, adds “this specification has the potential to accelerate the shift to better sensor interoperability and encourage a better and wider range of options.”

IoT.1 was developed in collaboration with the following PICMG members: Arroyo Technology, nVent, Triple Ring Technologies, Sandy Systems, PICMG

For more information, please visit PICMG’s website https://www.picmg.org/industrial-iot-overview/. The specification can be purchased and downloaded here: https://www.picmg.org/product/iiot_firmware.

February 24, 2021

Official Ratification of COM-HPC Specification

Industry NewsNewsPICMG

The open specification for high performance compute modules is approved by the PICMG Consortium

Wakefield, MA., 2021 – PICMG, a leading consortium for the development of open embedded computing specifications, announces that COM-HPC has been approved and ratified, and is now available for public download and distribution.

“Twenty-six industry-leading companies worked together diligently and cohesively over a span of five years”, said Christian Eder, the COM-HPC Working Group Chair. “I owe a big thank you to the team for the dedication and excellence they all brought to the effort. It is a clear proof of the importance of the COM-HPC specification. Now we are well prepared to address current and future technology requirements.”

COM-HPC defines five module sizes to deliver edge server performance for small, rugged data centers. The specification addresses emerging requirements in the embedded and edge computing market. The base specification will be accompanied later this year by a Platform Management Interface Specification, COM-HPC EEEP, and a Carrier Board Design Guide.

“The PICMG organization is proud of the extraordinary collaboration between industry leaders that has led to the completion of the COM-HPC base specification, said Jess Isquith, president of PICMG. “The new open standard will enable multiple AI and Industry 4.0 applications, amongst others, to be realized by bringing server-level computing to the edge. Adopting the specification provides a necessary standard to reduce time to market and stabilize costs for hundreds of solutions providers.”

It is important to note that the specification covers two classes of modules.

The COM-HPC Client Module Type targets use in high end embedded client products that need one or more displays, a full set of low, medium, and extremely high bandwidth I/O, powerful CPUs and modest size. Typical uses are in medical equipment, high end instrumentation, industrial equipment, casino gaming equipment, ruggedized field PCs, transportation and defense systems and much more.
The COM-HPC Server Type targets use in high end headless (no display) embedded servers that require intensive CPU capability, large memory capacity, and lots of high bandwidth I/O including multiple 10Gbps or 25Gbps Ethernet, and up to 65 PCIe lanes, at up to PCIe Gen 5 speeds. Typical uses are in embedded server equipment ruggedized for use in field environments and applications such as autonomous vehicles, cell tower base stations, geophysical field equipment, medical equipment, defense systems and much more. Both client and server modules have a dedicated platform management interface which is the first for a COM standard to include remote administration.

This new specification does not replace COM Express, which will continue to play a crucial role in the COM marketplace for many years.

The specification documents are available for download on the PICMG website at picmg.org/open standards/com-hpc/. Also available is a preview document and additional resources to learn more about the specification.

TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Two 400-pin BGA mount high-performance connectors
  • Platform Management Interface
  • Not limited to x86 processors
  • Provides for the use of x86 & RISC processors, FPGAs and GPGPUs
  • COM-HPC Client Modules
    • Up to 48 + 1 PCI Express Gen4/5 lanes
    • Up to 4x USB4
    • Up to 4x video interfaces
    • Up to 2x 25 Gb Ethernet interfaces
    • Module sizes:
      • Size A: 95 x 120 mm
      • Size B: 120 x 120 mm
      • Size C: 160 x 120 mm
  • COM-HPC Server Modules
    • Up to 64 + 1 PCI Express Gen4/5 lanes
    • Up to 2x USB4
    • Up to 4 graphic interfaces / headless
    • Up to 8x 25 Gb Ethernet interfaces
    • Module sizes:
      • Size D: 160 x 160 mm
      • Size E: 200 x 160 mm

Members of the PICMG COM-HPC committee include: University of Bielefeld, Acromag, ADLINK, Advantech, Amphenol, AMI, Avnet Integrated (MSC Technologies), Comtel, Duagon (MEN Mikro Elektronik), congatec, Elma Electronic, ept, Eurotech, Fastwel, GE Automation, HEITEC, ICC Intelligent Platforms, Intel, Kontron, N.A.T., nVent, Samtec, SECO, Supermicro, TE Connectivity, Trenz Electronic, and VersaLogic. ADLINK, congatec and Kontron are the committee sponsors. Christian Eder, marketing director of congatec, is the chairman of the COM-HPC committee. He was previously a draft editor of the current COM Express standard. Stefan Milnor from Kontron and Dylan Lang from Samtec support Christian Eder in their respective functions as editor and secretary of the PICMG COM-HPC committee.

February 17, 2021

PICMG Announces Officers for 2021 – 2022 Term

PICMG

Wakefield, Mass., January 2021 – PICMG, a not-for-profit 501(c) consortium of companies and organizations that collaboratively develop open specifications, held its bi-annual election for officers.   The group elected four officers to lead the organization through 2022.

The president Jess Isquith, chief technical officer Doug Sandy, and treasurer Dylan Lang were all re-elected for the 2021-2022 term.

Doug Sandy has been in leadership positions at PICMG for over fifteen years. He enters his 12th year as CTO and will continue to chair the ongoing IIoT initiatives.

Valerie Andrew, who previously served as the organization’s secretary, has been elected to the vice president of marketing. Ms. Andrew is the strategic marketing architect for Elma Electronic; she has over 20 years of experience in the embedded computing industry and has long been active in PICMG and holds leadership positions in other open standards organizations, including VITA and SOSA.

Dylan Lang from Samtec will continue in the treasurer role.  Mr. Lang is a member of Samtec’s standards team, expanding the company’s roadmap for next-generation technologies and product development definition. He serves as the secretary on PICMG COM-HPC and IIoT initiatives. He also holds leadership positions on VITA and SOSA committees.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to work with the PICMG Officers and members for the next two years. It is an exciting time at PICMG, and the leadership team is committed to fostering the momentum that has grown over the past few years.”, said Jess Isquith, President of PICMG. PICMG is working on multiple new and revised specifications. In 2021 we plan to release COM-HPC, the new COM specification for high-performance computing, IIoT Firmware for MicroSAM, and data models. We will also release an update to CompactPCI Serial and continue to work on MicroTCA enhancements. In addition to the direct PICMG efforts, we are committed to continued collaboration with other standards organizations, including DMTF, VITA, and OCP.

The role of secretary is currently vacant, but the team is actively looking to fulfill the position.