CompactPCI® Overview

compThe CompactPCI® family of specifications define a low cost, compact-pci2-348x232modular, and scalable approach to building systems suitable for an extremely wide range of industrial, commercial, aerospace, military, instrumentation, data acquisition, communications, telephony, machine control, and man machine interface applications.

CompactPCI, first introduced in 1999, has continued to evolve new applications – including the two main computers on the Mars Rover, Curiosity.

CompactPCI’s success is due in no small part to its adoption of the parallel PCI bus as the main data bus. PCI was the first universal, processor-independent computer bus that was adopted by all major microprocessor manufacturers. Hundreds of processors chipsets and thousands of peripheral chips utilize PCI.  By leveraging low cost silicon and software developed for PCI, CompactPCI has become the world’s most popular modular open computer architecture designed for embedded applications.

The PICMG 2.16 version of CompactPCI defined the industry’s first switched fabric Ethernet backplane architecture that allowed more than a dozen processor boards to be interconnected as a local high speed  LAN in a single chassis.

Key Benefits and Features

  • 3U and 6U Eurocard form factors are defined utilizing the popular IEEE 1101.1 and IEEE 1101.10 mechanical standards providing implementation flexibility and widely available off-the-shelf parts.
  • Supports Hot Swap of boards while a system is operating. This enables mission critical systems.
  • Convection cooled and conduction cooled modules are defined.
  • Thousands of compliant products are commercially available, including processors, I/O cards, backplanes, card cages, system enclosures, and complete pre-packaged systems.
  • Wide O/S support
  • Scalable from a single board to large systems
  • CompactPCI® Express version optimized for instrumentation and data acquisition applications
  • CompactPCI® Serial migrates parallel PCI bus to serial PCI Express, SATA, Ethernet, and USB, offering higher performance while maintaining backwards compatibility.

Family of Specifications

CompactPCI Express
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG EXP.0

CompactPCI Express

CompactPCI Serial
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG CPCI-S

CompactPCI Serial

CompactPCI Plus IO
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.30

CompactPCI Plus IO

CompactPCI Serial Mesh Interconnect
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.20

CompactPCI Serial Mesh Interconnect

CompactPCI Serial Rapid I/O Interconnect
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.18

CompactPCI Serial Rapid I/O Interconnect

CompactPCI Starfabric Interconnect
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.17

CompactPCI Starfabric Interconnect

CompactPCI Packet Switching Interconnect
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.16

CompactPCI Packet Switching Interconnect

PCI Telecom Mezzanine for CompactPCI
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.15

PCI Telecom Mezzanine for CompactPCI

CompactPCI Multicomputing
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.14

CompactPCI Multicomputing

Hot Swap Infrastructure Interface
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.12

Hot Swap Infrastructure Interface

CompactPCI Power Interface
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.11

CompactPCI Power Interface

CompactPCI Mechanical Keying – Boards & Backplanes
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.10

CompactPCI Mechanical Keying – Boards & Backplanes

CompactPCI System Management
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.9

CompactPCI System Management

6U CompactPCI Dual System Slot
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG2.7

6U CompactPCI Dual System Slot

CompactPCI Computer Telephony Specification
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.5

CompactPCI Computer Telephony Specification

IP Module on CompactPCI
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.4

IP Module on CompactPCI

PMC Module on CompactPCI
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.3

PMC Module on CompactPCI

VME64x on CompactPCI® Specification
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.2

VME64x on CompactPCI® Specification

CompactPCI Hot Swap
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.1

CompactPCI Hot Swap

CompactPCI Base Specification
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description
PICMG 2.0

CompactPCI Base Specification

Compact PCI

Target Applications

  • General purpose embedded computing, including industrial control, communications, computer telephony, data acquisition, military & aerospace, avionics, surveillance, signage, multimedia, and instrumentation.

System Requirements

  • CPU board, which may be a complete single board computer
  • Backplane which distributes signals between boards
  • Card cage for mechanical support of backplane and boards
  • Power Supply. PICMG 2.11 defines one alternative, but power supply connections are generally left up to the system implementer
  • I/O cards for application specific I/O
  • Optionally, a chassis to mount everything in.