Why CompactPCI ® What is it?
Combining the practicalities and real-world economics of the conventional personal computer (PC) world with the kind of features demanded in the telecommunications and test industry, CompactPCI® sets the standard for a new generation of products.
The dominant electrical architecture for desktop PCs and workstations the past few years is the PCI bus. Because of the benefits of performance, virtually unlimited software support, low cost and ease of use the PCI bus serves as the core electrical architecture for more than several open standards which includes CompactPCI®.
CompactPCI® was introduced in 1995 as a standard for computer backplane architecture and peripheral integration. The standard was defined by the peripheral component interconnect industrial computers manufacturing group (PICMG®). The CompactPCI® standard combines the popular PCI interface with the Eurocard form factor and a high density IEC pin-and-socket connector into a small rugged package. The Eurocard standard, used successfully for years in industrial applications, adds the benefit that IEEE standardizes all dimensions and mechanical components. This results in numerous vendors that supply mechanically interchangeable components. The high pin density of the connector allows for both 32 and 64-bit data transfers on a standard 3U backplane. The connector construction permits excellent impedance matching to allow the CompactPCI® architecture to accommodate eight slots per PCI bus segment as compared to the four with standard PCI connectors. The new bus architecture brought to the world of PCI many improvements targeted towards a more robust, performance-enhanced and cheaper solution for industrial computing.
By using a PC-based architecture hardware and software components become widely available. The operating systems and software applications defined by CompactPCI® are all common to the desktop PC market. This makes the transition of a test system from the traditional PC to CompactPCI® virtually transparent. The leveraging off the desktop PC market allows the CompactPCI® to keep prices relatively low compared to traditional approaches without sacrificing performance. Test systems and instruments can be small of footprint, high density and rugged.
Pulse Instruments with its years of imager testing experience is combining its knowledge of test instrumentation to develop CompactPCI® products.
CompactPCI ® logo is a registered trademark of the PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group.