PICMG Ratifies COM-HPC FuSa Extensions, COM Express PCIe 4/USB 4 Updates to Meet Edge Workload Demands

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PICMG COM-HPC 1.15 and COM.0 R3.1 continue evolution to support high-performance, mixed-criticality, and cost-optimized IoT edge, gateway, and server designs with strict time-to-market requirements.

WAKEFIELD, MA. PICMG, a leading consortium for the development of open embedded computing specifications, has announced major updates to the COM-HPC and COM Express families of computer-on-module (COM) standards with the ratification of Functional Safety (FuSa) extensions to COM-HPC (COM-HPC 1.15) and COM Express Revision 3.1 (COM.0 R3.1), which adds 16 Gbps connectors, support for PCI Express Gen 4, USB 4, SATA Gen 3 optimizations, and other enhancements.

COM-HPC 1.15 is a set of safety extensions that expand the FuSa capabilities of “safety island” blocks available on modern chipsets out to the broader system. Available on all COM-HPC form factors – including the upcoming COM-HPC Client Mini – COM-HPC FuSa extensions define a dedicated SPI signal that connects health and status monitoring features of such blocks to a FuSa “Safety Controller” located on COM-HPC carrier cards where any findings can be processed for external use.

The COM-HPC 1.15 architecture thus enables the creation of mixed-criticality multicore embedded systems by providing a direct path to redundancy and fail-safe process implementation for developers of industrial machine control, train and wayside control, robotics, autonomous vehicles, avionics, and other critical systems.

“With the small size definition of the upcoming Mini specification and the recent FuSa extensions, COM-HPC covers all use cases I can think of,” says Christian Eder, Chair of the COM-HPC technical committee and Director Product Marketing at congatec. “COM-HPC is the most complete computer module definition ever. I expect an extremely fast growth for scalable and compute-power hungry embedded applications based on COM-HPC technology.”

The COM-HPC 1.15 specification effort is sponsored by ADLINK, congatec, and Kontron.

COM Express Revision 3.1 continues the evolution of the electronics industry’s most popular COM standard by adding support for PCIe Gen 4 and an updated 16 Gbps connector across the family’s Type 6, 7, and 10 pinouts. SATA Gen 3 signal integrity and loss budget information has also been added for each Type.

These improvements join pinout-specific upgrades including optional USB4 (Type 6), MIPI-CSI connectors (Types 6, 10), SoundWire (Types 6, 10), as well as an additional general-purpose SPI interface (Types 6, 10). A CEI signaling-enabled 10 GbE interface and IPMB management interface are also now defined in the Type 7 pinout as part of COM.0 R3.1.

COM Express Revision 3.1 Type 6 and Type 10 hardware is fully backward-compatible with 3.0 modules and carrier boards, while Revision 3.1 Type 7 modules are backward compatible apart from 10GBASE-KR Ethernet side-band signals and a second PCIe reference clock not included on R3.0 modules.

“The PICMG COM Express specification just had its 23rd anniversary. During this time, the specification has been updated to support the latest interfaces while focusing on maintaining backwards compatibility. Revision 3.1 is no exception,” says Jeff Munch, CTO of ADLINK Technology and Chairman of the COM Express subcommittee. “In the latest release of the COM Express specification the subcommittee has added support for PCI Express Gen 4, USB4, and newer 10G side-band interfaces while maximizing backwards compatibility.

“These new interfaces will allow COM Express to continue to fill its role as a leading computer-on-module standard.”

For more information on the COM-HPC FuSa extensions specification, visit www.picmg.org/openstandards/com-hpc or purchase the specification for $750 from www.picmg.org/product/com-hpc-module-base-specification-revision-1-15.

For more on the COM Express family of specifications, go to www.picmg.org/openstandards/com-express or purchase the latest specification revision from www.picmg.org/product/com-express-module-base-specification-rev-3-1.

More on PICMG’s range of open, modular computing standards can be found at www.picmg.org.

Founded in 1994, PICMG is a not-for-profit 501(c) consortium of companies and organizations that collaboratively develop open standards for high performance industrial, Industrial IoT, military & aerospace, telecommunications, test & measurement, medical, and general-purpose embedded computing applications. There are over 130 member companies that specialize in a wide range of technical disciplines, including mechanical and thermal design, single board computer design, high-speed signaling design and analysis, networking expertise, backplane, and packaging design, power management, high availability software and comprehensive system management.

Key standards families developed by PICMG include COM Express, COM-HPC, ModBlox7, IoT.1, CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA, AdvancedMC, CompactPCI Serial, COM Express, SHB Express, MicroSAM, and HPM (Hardware Platform Management). For more information visit www.picmg.org.