PICMG Releases new CompactPCI Express Specification

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PICMG Releases new CompactPCI Express Specification

This new CompactPCI specification affects VoIP hardware. From the news wires - PICMG has released the CompactPCI Express Specification denoted EXP.0. CompactPCI Express brings PCI Express technology to the popular PICMG 2.0 CompactPCI form factor, while maintaining compatibility with CompactPCI hardware and software.

More than 40 companies participated in the CompactPCI Express specification development process. The participating companies worked to develop a specification that would meet the future market needs of the CompactPCI, PXI, military, and aerospace markets. The specification defines the connector, electrical, and mechanical requirements of 3U/6U System Boards, Peripheral Boards, Switch Boards, and Backplanes.

"CompactPCI Express leverages the Advanced Differential Fabric (ADF) connector used by AdvantedTCA to carry the PCI Express Signals,” said Mark Wetzel of National Instruments, the EXP.0 subcommittee chair. “The specification maintains hardware compatibility with CompactPCI by allowing backplanes to have CompactPCI slots as well as Hybrid Slots, which support CompactPCI, PXI, and Compact PCI Express peripheral boards."

Boards that are defined in the specification include System Boards, Type 1 Peripheral Boards, Type 2 Peripheral Boards, and Switch Boards. Type 1 Peripheral Boards share the same pin definitions as System Boards, so a CPU board could be designed to work in both slot types. Type 2 Peripheral Boards, can be used in Type 1, Type 2, and Hybrid Slots. Switch Boards provide a modular way to provide PCI Express fan out.

The specification defines the system slot and board to have up to 24 lanes and up to four links of PCI Express for up to 6 Gigabytes/second system bandwidth per direction. Type 1 peripheral slots and boards can have up to 16 lanes of PCI Express for up to 4 Gigabytes/second bandwidth per direction and Type 2 peripheral slots can have up to 8 lanes of PCI Express for up to 2 Gigabytes/second bandwidth per direction.

CompactPCI Express provides migration path for customers who use the highly successful CompactPCI form factor but want the added performance of PCI Express.

Copies of the complete specification are available to PICMG members and can be purchased by non-members from PICMG. More information on new PICMG developments is available at www.picmg.org/picmgnewinitiatives.stm.

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