Author: Christian Ganninger, Global Product Manager for Systems, Schroff GmbH
CompactPCI Serial, combined with the CompactPCI PlusIO defined as a migration path, are already showing a major market potential.
Users changing to the new technology from CompactPCI have very diverse reasons for doing so. An application example in freight traffic shows a hybrid backplane with CompactPCI PlusIO system slot used in conjunction with a conventional CompactPCI backplane in one system. Here the hybrid backplane serves to accommodate future system upgrades so that faster CompactPCI Serial boards can later be used.
Another application, in industrial automation, links a system via WLAN to the company network. In this arrangement the USB interface is used that is defined on the CompactPCI Serial slots. A USB WLAN stick is mounted on a CompactPCI Serial board and can be linked directly via the backplane to the CompactPCI PlusIO processor board using the USB protocol. This represents a simple and straightforward solution for linking the system to a network via WLAN.
In some railway applications and in industrial automation, hybrid backplanes are also beginning to be used for integrating hard disk boards simply into the system. CompactPCI does not allow plug-in hard disk modules to be directly integrated, since in CompactPCI only the PCI bus is implemented. However, current hard disk drives use the S-ATA or SAS protocols. CompactPCI PlusIO and CompactPCI Serial define both protocols on both slots, so that a hard disk drive on a periphery board can be connected to the system simply. This allows powerful Raid systems to be constructed simply.
Another example application of CompactPCI Serial is a special use in audio processing. This makes use of the full-mesh topology of the Ethernet defined in the J6 area of CompactPCI Serial. This allows audio data to be exchanged extremely fast between the individual digital signal processors. The free user-defined pins in the J2 to J5 range serve for future upgrades. Here the full-mesh topography of the J6 area is mirrored in order to increase the data volume further.
It can be seen from numerous enquiries that many more applications will shortly be implemented in many different areas of the market.