PICMG Enhances CompactPCI Express Specification

WAKEFIELD, Mass., April 29, 2013, 2013 – PICMG, a leading standards organization for the communications, military and embedded computer industries, is pleased to announce a new revision and upgrade to the CompactPCI Express specification, Revision 2. The new revision to the CompactPCI Express specification adds 5 gigabits per second transfer rate and 8 gigabits per second transfer rate PCI Express operation. This provides up to 4 times the bandwidth while maintaining full backwards compatibility with previous CompactPCI and CompactPCI Express products. Also, this specification goes to great length to define how a product’s PCI Express  signaling is validated to ensure interoperability.

“This revision of CompactPCI Express, like the first release of the specification, focuses on interoperability at both the interface and product level but with the additional benefit of dramatically increasing performance. This will allow rapid adoption in instrumentation and control applications where performance and interoperability are critical. The PXI standard which currently builds on top of CompactPCI and CompactPCI Express will see immediate benefit from this new revision.” according to Mark Wetzel the techical Chair of the Compact Express Subcommittee and Distinguished Engineer at National Instruments.

CompactPCI®, first adopted as an open industry standard in 1995, is a very popular standard for a implementing a wide range of communications, industrial automation, instrumentation, and military and aerospace applications. It uses the popular and proven Eurocard 3U and 6U mechanical standards and can be convention or conduction cooled. CompactPCI® Express, which was first introduced in 2005, added PCI Express signaling capability across the backplane while maintaining backwards compatibility with earlier versions of CompactPCI. CompactPCI Express is popular in the same applications as original CompactPCI, and provides higher performance with little or no increase in cost.

The CompactPCI family of standards has been growing since the original version was ratified in 1995, and represents over $500M in annual revenues. CompactPCI was the first open standard that provided reliable hot swap operation and was the first standard to incorporate a switched Ethernet backplane fabric in 2000. More recent versions, CompactPCI Express and CompactPCI Serial, are optimized for instrumentation and control applications and take advantage of newer serial communications standards.


Founded in 1994 as the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, PICMG is a consortium of over 250 companies that collaboratively develops open specifications for high performance telecommunications, military and industrial computing applications.

For information about PICMG membership, or to find out how to obtain PICMG specifications, visit the PICMG website at https://www.picmg.org or call PICMG headquarters at (781) 246-9318.