CompactPCI (CPCI) was introduced around 1995, with the aim of providing a modular approach to building embedded systems. CompactPCI is a versatile form factor and is suitable for use in a wide range of industries including: industrial, defense, test, transportation and telecommunications. Applications using these boards have achieved long life-cycles, the modularity enabling technology transitions when required.
The CompactPCI specification is owned by the PICMG standards body, cards use metric connectors with a 2-milimeter pin spacing and have either 32-bit and 64-bit PCI bus signals for primary communication. Many of the other connector pins are available for user-defined I/O and Concurrent Technologies boards offer combination of new and backwards compatible I/O options.
CompactPCI is a simple to use parallel bus architecture that enables multiple processor cards to operate in a single system. Concurrent Technologies processor boards will typically operate as the system slot controller, peripheral controller or as a satellite board without the CPCI interface for flexible system configurations. Whilst high speed when introduced, the PCIbus interface is limited to a 66MHz transfer rates and so offers relatively slow throughput compared to modern serial fabric architectures like VPX and AdvancedMC. Enhanced versions of the CompactPCI standard that offer higher throughput rates are available but have not achieved sufficient market adoption for Concurrent Technologies to support them.
CompactPCI boards are available in 3U and 6U form factors to suit application needs: 3U boards are more attractive to lower functionality applications; 6U boards offer more panel space for I/O functions and typically offer the ability for two PMC/XMC expansion mezzanines. One of the key features that differentiates CompactPCI is that it supports hot swapping of boards. Whilst not widely used in defense and test applications, it enables mission critical systems to remain operational where necessary.
CompactPCI boards from Concurrent Technologies are typically known for long-term availability, making them an ideal choice for those embedded applications that need stability from regular update cycles. In addition, the latest boards are available with enhanced security capabilities to be suitable for defense and sensitive test applications.