The newest PICMG standard cPCI Serial Space, CPCI-S.1 R1.0, was now officially ratified. The extension of the CompactPCI Serial standard was initiated by a large-scale project over 900 satellites of an Internet supplier and has now successfully been finished by the members of the PICMG working group.
The goal of the new technical PICMG sub-committee “CompactPCI Serial Space” (cPCI Serial Space) was to extend the current CompactPCI Serial specification by a sub-standard covering the specific requirements for space applications.
The two main changes in the extension of the CompactPCI Serial specification are the definition of a dual star architecture for increased availability, and allowing the integration of different communication protocols common in space applications for both – the dual-star and the full-mesh network (which was formerly restricted to Ethernet only).
The result is a parallel and flexible usage of the full-mesh Ethernet network via the backplane, as well as the dual-star architecture via PCI-Express or any other protocol like SpaceWire, TTEthernet, EtherSpace etc…, of both the CPU card and all peripheral cards.
Manfred Schmitz, CEO and founder of MEN Mikro Elektronik, who was already significantly involved in the development of the CompactPCI Serial standard, was acting as a close technical adviser to the group. “CompactPCI Serial Space is the consequent path to implement high-tech solutions for a highly sophisticated market while re-using and evolving proven industrial technology, reaching significant cost reductions in parallel compared to existing solutions”, he states.
Jess Isquith, President of PICMG, adds: “CompactPCI Serial Space guarantees the interoperability of different boards from different suppliers, and helps re-use solutions from mission to mission. Its open integration of different protocols makes it also suitable for many more applications – not just in space.”