Friday, May 11, 2012

CompactPCI Serial Specification Finalised

The specification for CompactPCI Serial (PICMG CompactPCI-S.0), the successor to CompactPCI, has been finalised and is now published by PICMG. This standalone specification is based on pure serial architecture and offers data transmission speeds of up to 32 GB/s. The application bandwidth is therefore even greater than was the case with CompactPCI. To allow a soft transition to CompactPCI, the CompactPCI PlusIO specification (PICMG 2.30) was defined as a sub-specification to the CompactPCI base specification. Schroff has already developed backplanes and complete systems for both specifications and these are now available from stock.

Backplanes available include 8-slot hybrid backplanes with three CompactPCI peripheral slots, one CompactPCI PlusIO system slot and four CompactPCI Serial peripheral slots. These backplanes are available in two different versions - with and without rear I/O on the CompactPCI Serial slots. They represent the maximum configuration for hybrid systems and can thus be used in all possible applications. Other backplanes with fewer slots are currently in preparation, such as a 5-slot version.

For CompactPCI Serial, Schroff has likewise developed backplanes for the maximum configuration, with nine slots: one system slot and eight peripheral slots. This again allows the widest range of applications to be accommodated. In this specification, PCIe, USB and S-ATA are distributed radially from the system slot to all peripheral slots and are available simultaneously. In Schroff's standard system, backplanes are used on which GbE is also radially distributed. As an alternative, Schroff also offers a backplane with full-mesh Ethernet wiring, which facilitates the creation of e.g. processor farms or clusters. Both of these versions are available with or without rear I/O. Backplanes with 4 and 5 slots are also in preparation.

The mechanical construction of the CompactPCI Serial systems matches that of the Schroff 8-slot 3+1 CompactPCI system with its built-in 1 U fan drawer. Equipped with one backplane, up to nine 3 U boards can be accommodated; the system slot is positioned left. CPUs with double width may also be used without any structural modification. There is sufficient space for e.g. hard disk drives to be fitted. Additionally, the rear section includes a space for rear I/O boards.

Customers may opt for one of two types of power supply unit. The 19" PSU (3 U, 8 HP, 160 HP) with an output of 250 W and rear-mounted IEC mains input has even narrower tolerances at the limit values for currents, voltages etc. than is called for by the specification. This is of particular benefit where multicore processors are used. For custom applications this PSU is also available in a 48 V version. A lower-cost alternative is available in the form of an ATX unit from Schroff's new family of ATX PSUs.

For optimal heat dissipation from the system a hot-swap fan drawer that pulls out to the front is situated under the board cage. It can optionally be upgraded with a filter mat. Depending on the PSU selected, the drawer is fitted with either two or three fans that can be quickly replaced when necessary.

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