Industrial PC

This pages describes technologies used in industrial PCs andspecial PCs made for special applications.It is PC hardware which looks like quite different from the typical PCon your desk or your laptop computer, but is very similarto normal office PC on software viewpoint.

    Reliabity and availability

    • Compute farms: the new data centers - Today's CPUs are not powerful enough to support the development of their successors. Dynamically allocated computing power keeps projects on time and fosters quality.    Rate this link
    • Sense of self: enabling systems to monitor?and control?their environment - There's nothing quite like having to explain to your boss that your entire network is down because a $12 fan died. Proper management of the enclosure environment lets you pre-empt such disastrous and embarrassing failures. The telecomm industry already demands high availability, and if data communications wants to compete for voice and video services, it needs to aim for a similar standard. To achieve efficient high availability, however, you need to monitor a system to identify potential failures before they happen and actively prevent them. Good system monitoring occurs on many levels.    Rate this link

    Industrial PC formats and buses


      CompactPCI is a special industrial version of PCI bus. It support up to 8 cards in single backplane bus (and more card with bridge chips) and hot-swapping. CompactPCI systems are typically build to mechanically very stable 19" rack enclosures. Traditionally, CPCI architectures have shined in the telecommunication market, serving as a key ingredient for building central office equipment, telecommunication switches, and more. At the heart of CompactPCI is a gas tight, high density pin-and-socket connector which meets the IEC-1076 international standard. Its low inductance and controlled impedance make it ideal for PCI signaling. This 2 millimeter "Hard Metric" connector has 47 rows of 5 pins per row, with a total of 220 pins (15 pins are lost to the keying area). An additional external metal shield is also used. This connector's controlled impedance minimizes unwanted signal reflections and enables CompactPCI systems to have eight slots, as compared to the desktop PC's four. This can easily be expanded with PCI bridge chips. The CompactPCI connector is a high-density pin-and-socket connector that meets the IEC-1076 international standard for the PCI interconnect between add-in boards and the backplane. Backplanes use male (pin) connectors and plug-in boards use female (socket) connectors. Standardization guarantees the connectors are compatible regardless of manufacturer. Also stipulated in the IEC 1076-4-101 standard is coding. Coding is necessary to insure proper placement of plug-in modules. For I/O's out of the electronic units, shrouding is used in many cases. In addition to providing power, ground, 32 and 64-bit PCI signals, these 2 mm Hard Metric connectors can be used as bridges to other buses such as VME or ISA in hybrid backplanes. The connectors can also be used for rear panel I/O. 3U CompactPCI processor boards use a single 220 pin connector for all power, ground, and all 32 and 64 bit PCI signals. Twenty pins are reserved for future use. 6U boards can have up to three additional connectors with a total of 315 pins. These are also 2mm style. These optional connectors can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used as a bridge to other buses in hybrid backplanes. The optional connectors can also be used for rear panel I/O (IEEE 1101.11 draft standard for rear panel I/O provides a standard method for doing this, and works well with CompactPCI).

      • CompactPCI - PCI bus superset for industry computers    Rate this link
      • CompactPCI: A Solution for the Next Generation of Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Tutorial - Computer telephony integration (CTI) is a term to which many are becoming accustomed. It encompasses an entire industry, devoted to the closer integration of telephony systems with computer-control devices, as well as an ever-expanding range of applications. Over the years, various standards and specifications have been adopted to propel CTI technology. Recently, a new generation of standards emerged, at the forefront of which is CompactPCI.    Rate this link
      • CompactPCI Boards: A Buyer's Guide - As CPCI faces questions about its long-term viability, board manufacturers are reinventing architectures and delivering more functionality. Now the challenge is choosing the right board architecture for your system design.    Rate this link
      • CompactPCI forges new directions - As the ubiquitous PCI bus nears obsolescence in high-bandwidth applications, CompactPCI vendors face legacy-compatibility and new-technology issues for their next-generation products. CompactPCI vendors are just now beginning to extend their technology for future products after being stopped in their tracks by the recent economic downturn in the telecommunications industry. Board manufacturers are pushing the technology envelope with new standards for high-speed interconnects along with improved reliability, manageability, and serviceability. CompactPCI developers are updating the specification for their next-generation systems, and several of these updates include replacement of CompactPCI's namesake, the PCI bus, with higher speed, nonblocking alternatives.    Rate this link
      • Engineers Embrace CompactPCI - rugged, high-performance CompactPCI and its instrumentation extension PXI are attracting many system developers    Rate this link
      • PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group - a consortium of over 500 companies who collaboratively develop specifications that adapt PCI technology for use in industrial and telecommunications computing applications    Rate this link
      • System Management and CompactPCI? Systems - Manageability is a hot topic for system planners and information technology (IT) managers. To combat this, industry players are providing a framework for system management tools that build upon legacy standards such as simple network management protocol (SNMP) and common management information protocol (CMIP) and upon new standards such as desktop management interface (DMI) and Windows for management (WFM). The purpose of this paper is to give the reader an overview of hardware instrumentation extensions and standards being considered for CompactPCI boards and systems. These extensions will provide systems manufacturers a standardized method of deploying instrumentation, remote temperature sensors for example, in CompactPCI based computer systems. The System Management Subcommittee of PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) is performing the work described here.    Rate this link
      • The Mighty Morphin' PCI Bus - since it's entry into the PC local-bus wars, the PCI-bus concept has flourished and metamorphosed into at least a half-dozen variants for industrial, compact, and mobile applications    Rate this link
      • Thermal Management of CompactPCI Systems - The cooling of CompactPCI systems has become a major issue. Thermal modeling has shown that conventional cooling via a typical three fan, fan-tray is very inefficient once the heat loss exceeds 500 W in a system. Microcomputers will benefit by adopting an industry supported standard.    Rate this link
      • PICMG? 2.11 Power Interface Specification    Rate this link
      • CompactPCI Power Connector - Compact Power Connectors are designed for use in platforms utilizing Eurocard form factors. The PCIH series in the 47 contact variant was developed specifically for use with CompactPCI? 3U and 6U in-rack modular power supplies as detailed in the PICMG? 2.11 Power Interface Specification.    Rate this link
      • Managing Power in CompactPCI Designs - To meet the application requirements of carriers, design engineers must implement power budget analysis and intelligent management techniques in packet-based CompactPCI platform.    Rate this link


      PC/104 is an embedded PC hardware system where the whole computer system is built by stacking postcard size PC motherboard and interface cards on top of each other. Original PC/104 standard supports ISA bus architechture for the cards. Newer PC/104+ standard has added PCI bus support for newer PC/104+ systems.

    Mezzanine technology

    Today there is a clear tendency to buy hardware instead of making it. There is no best mezzanine technology, the different technologies are complementary. They target different applications. Mezzanine technology may help in solving this problem.First decide on the processor to be used, then find a mezzanine carrier board with or without system bus interface and finally, personalise the board by adding one or more mezzanines. By buying the carrier and the mezzanine boards or by making some mezzanine boards yourself you will be quicker in the market with a new design and that is vitally important today.


      PMC is short for PCI Mezzanine Card. It is a postcard size small module which can be plugged to industrial PC motherboard PMC interface connector or to external carrier card. PMC card carry PCI bus signals in tiny connectors. If you need high performance and/or intelligent I/O then PMC-modules are a good choise. PMC modules use PCI components which are becomign incresingly popular.If you need high performance and/or intelligent I/O then PMC-modules are a good choise.

      PC MIP

      The PC MIP module bus to the carrier board is largely based on the PCI standard. The electrical and logical layers are the same as those defined by the PCI standard. The PC MIP standard itself is still under development by the ANSI/VITA task group VITA-29. Th PC MIP exists in two widths: single and double. The single form factor is 47 x 90 mm (42.3 cm2), and the double is 94 x 90 mm (84.6 cm2). It comes in two flavours: Type I (without front bezel I/O) and Type II (which is 9 mm longer and with front bezel I/O). The module can have components on both sides, and the manufacturer may choose on which side to put the highest components. The I/O connector to the carrier board is a 50 pin one. PC MIP tries to combine best of the two worlds: it has almost the same surface as the IP-module and has high performance PCI bus in it. PC MIP consolidates the presently used PCI. PC MIP is more standardised than PMC, and has a smaller surface (lower production cost) it will become a major competitor with PMC.


      The M-Module Specification was approved on May 20, 1997 as an American National Standard and will be known as ANSI/VITA 12-1996, M-Module Specification. M-Modules exist in three sizes: single, double and even triple size. The single size measures 148.3 x 52.9 mm (78.5 cm2), the double 148.3 x 106.2 mm (157.5 cm2), and the triple 148.3 x 159.6 mm (236.5 cm2). Components on M-Modules can have a maximum height of 10.5 mm (for about 60% of surface) and 5.25 mm (40%). The single size M-Modules uses a 40-pin (optional 60-pin: for MA-Modules) connector for interfacing with the carrier board, and a 24 pin I/O connector (I/O via the carrier board). M-Modules may also have front bezel I/O. The M-Module bus simple so M-module development is also easy and cheap. The PCB surface, although larger than the IP, is still small. An advantage over IP modules, is the larger potential component surface and height. There exist an option for interconnect bus between different M-modules. M-Modules are well suited for non-intelligent I/O. Nevertheless, M-Modules are less standardised and less available than IP modules.

      IP (IndustryPack)

      IP is the abbreviation of "Industry Pack". The standard was prepared by VSO (VITA Standards Organisation) and SBS GreenSpring Modular I/O. The single size IP-module uses two 50-pin connectors: one for interfacing with the carrier board and one to interface with the external world (I/O via the carrier board). The single size module measures 1.8 x 3.9 inch (45.3 cm2), the double 3.6 x 3.9 inch (90.6 cm2). Components on an IP-module can have a maximum height of 0.29 inch (7.4 mm). IP modules can be connected to VME or ISA bus using special IP module carrier cards.IP module bus is simple, so it is easy and cheap to develop an IP module. As the PCB surface is small, also the production costs are limited. IP modules have a low performance interface, and as IP has only slave possibilities it is intended to be used more as a simple I/O extension.IP-module is well suited for a large number of non-intelligent I/O applications, which do not require high performance. They are cheap and widely available.


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