Author: Christian Ganninger, Global Category Manager Systems EMEA
As was the case for CompactPCI, the two board sizes 3 U and 6 U have been defined for CompactPCI Serial. The 6 U board size offers the user attractive options for combining the parallel CompactPCI bus with the serial CompactPCI bus with ease in a single system.
In 3 U systems there are also two possibilities for this, either using a double-width CPU inserted into a CompactPCI system slot and with a mezzanine board inserted into the CompactPCI Serial system slot, or alternatively, by selecting a CompactPCI PlusIO system slot that can address both CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial peripheral slots. Here, however, the number of serial slots is limited to four.
In the 6 U system, CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial can be linked on a 4 HP board. Here CompactPCI Serial is selected such that the serial signals are handled in the upper 3 U of the board. The lower 3 U can contain the CompactPCI interface. With a hybrid CompactPCI/CompactPCI Serial CPU of this type, up to seven CompactPCI and eight CompactPCI Serial peripheral slots can be addressed.
A number of "mixed slots" (boards connected to CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial) are also possible in a single chassis. This allows multiple boards to access the parallel PCI bus and the fast serial protocols simultaneously.
With the appropriate backplane, the flexibility of the CompactPCI Serial specification allows a wide range of possibilities. Old 6 U CompactPCI or packet switching boards can thus be combined with hybrid CompactPCI/CompactPCI Serial boards and pure CompactPCI Serial boards in the same system. The GbE of packet switching boards can then even be connected directly to the Ethernet of CompactPCI Serial.
An example of what is now possible would be to expand a packet switching system with a CompactPCI Serial Raid storage system. The hard disks are accommodated on the CompactPCI Serial boards, are addressable directly from the processor board via Serial-ATA or SCSI and can be inserted or removed while the system is running. Or a slow 6 U I/O board based on CompactPCI can be connected simply to a fast CompactPCI Serial system.
With this, the foundations for the high-performance systems of the future are in place.