Thoughts on PICMG turning 20


It is a bit surprising to me to realize that this year PICMG has been operating for 20 years. It has been a lot of fun and I expect that to continue. PICMG has been successful because of the extremely diverse and deep technical skills of its members. It is a fairly “flat” organization that is not controlled by a few high members paying high dues, and that structure has proven to be a good one. We’ve done some truly innovative work, including creating the first open serial fabric architecture, PICMG 2.16. The development of sophisticated platform management, originally done for AdvancedTCA, is now being incorporated into different standards in other organizations. I hope it becomes the norm for any embedded computing standard in the future that calls itself robust.

We’ve got more work to do, including making ATCA better and faster, and developing a complementary high performance platform – dubbed GEN4 – that acknowledges the convergence of telecom central office and data center functions. The High Energy Physics community had embraced TCA and MicroTCA and it is being installed in labs all over the world. CompactPCI Serial, while not very well understood in the beginning, is turning heads and shows how a popular platform can be significantly upgraded without losing its original DNA. Quite a number of PICMG platforms are now being used in mil/aero applications, as vendor independence, lower costs and quicker time-to-market become necessary.

If you are a PICMG member, I want to thank you for your hard work and significant contributions to furthering the goal of open standards for embedded computing. If you are not a member, look around this web site and see of joining us might be right for your organization.

By Joe Pavlat