Author: Manfred Schmitz, CTO MEN Mikro Elektronik
The CompactPCI Serial specification CPCI-S.0 is based on the PICMG-2.0 specification for the parallel CompactPCI bus. The complete 19" mechanics such as the front panels were taken over unchanged. Instead of the 2-mm hard metric connectors, however, new connectors from AirMax® have been introduced. These connectors support much higher data transfer rates than the traditional 2-mm connectors and have a much higher pin density. In total, the CompactPCI Serial standard defines up to 6 individual connectors for single Eurocards and seven individual connectors for double Eurocards.
Depending on the function of the board, a different number of these connectors is assembled. A peripheral board in 3U format is only equipped with one connector at the backplane. This saves costs. There is a drawback to this, however. A bigger connector helps to stabilize the board mechanically. Several modular connectors positioned next to each other are not capable of this. As the main focus of CompactPCI Serial has been usage in harsh environments from the start, an additional element has been introduced - the so-called guide element - for guiding, holding and stabilizing the plug-in card on the backplane. This way, a 3U assembly is also guided in the middle of the backplane, when only one (the lowest) connector is assembled. Due to this, the PCB cannot bend. The shock and vibration resistance is higher.
CompactPCI Serial PICMG CPCI-S.0 is a standard for modular computers, which has especially been developed for harsh environments without losing sight of the costs.