CompactPCI Serial Headed Into Orbit with New PICMG Working Group

Sub-committee to develop requirements for use of standard in space applications

Nov 03, 2015, 12:54 ET from MEN Micro Inc.

BLUE BELL, Pa., Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- MEN Micro Inc., a leading provider of robust, standards based, embedded computing and I/O hardware solutions for harsh, mobile, and mission-critical environments, has announced the establishment of a new working group within the PICMG standards association focused on extending CompactPCI Serial technology to space applications.

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The new working group, Space CompactPCI Serial was initiated by PICMG member companies and well-known industry leaders, such as Airbus Defense & Space, Thales Alenia Space, and STI Spacetech. It is being assembled by Manfred Schmitz, CEO of MEN Mikro Elektronik GmbH, the parent company of MEN Micro Inc., the North American subsidiary.

The sub-committee is currently seeking additional companies to contribute to the planning and development of the new Space CompactPCI Serial standard.  Interested parties are invited to contact either PICMG ( or MEN Micro ( 

This group will focus on topics that include fault detection, environmental requirements unique to the space environment, provisions for high availability and the addition of serial interfaces such as SpaceWire, TT-Ethernet and Rapid I/O for inter-board communication.

Joe Pavlat, president of PICMG, notes, "Extending CompactPCI Serial into space applications is the next step in the development of this time-proven family of standards. The CompactPCI Serial base specification has the mechanical and conduction cooling technologies needed for space already defined and in place. Both 3U and 6U Eurocard formats are supported."

As with the initial development of the CompactPCI Serial standard, one of the major goals is to keep the language simple and understandable, as well as to guarantee maximum interoperability between bus slots and boards.

With Space CompactPCI Serial, designers can implement leading edge technical solutions for a highly sophisticated market, while reusing and evolving proven technology, ultimately realizing significant cost reductions.

CompactPCI technology has a long standing history in space applications, from the famous "Curiosity" Mars Rover and satellite control to performing scientific tasks on the International Space Station.   A typical application envisioned for Space CompactPCI Serial is the implementation of the platform and the payload controller onboard satellites.

Pavlat comments, "Since the start of CompactPCI Serial, MEN has been instrumental in developing this standard and the cost-effective CompactPCI PlusIO hybrid standard, while helping to grow the ecosystem with a wide range of available products.  This new working group will truly bring out the benefits of CompactPCI Serial in space applications."

Space CompactPCI Serial Working Group

  • Latest extension of PICMG's CompactPCI family of standards
  • Committee members sought for insights, contributions and developments
  • Charter for the working group includes the addition of space-related serial interconnects as well as the inclusion of high availability, fault detection, and environmental requirements unique to applications in outer space
  • Will build on CompactPCI's long standing history in space applications

For additional information on CompactPCI Serial products, visit;; Stephen Cunha, Phone: 215-542-9575; E-mail:

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About MEN Micro Inc.

Since its founding, MEN Micro has focused on innovation, reliability and flexibility to develop standard and custom computing solutions that employ the highest technology levels. The company's computing solutions are used in harsh, mobile, and mission- and safety-critical environments found in the transportation (rail, road, air, sea) and industrial (automation, power & energy, medical) markets.

MEN Micro's robust offering of highly reliable embedded COTS boards and devices includes:

  • Safe computers and systems certifiable up to SIL 4 and DAL-A
  • Flexible, configurable, and robust Box PCs
  • Panel PCs for HMIs and digital signage
  • Pre-integrated, built-to-order 19" systems
  • A very broad portfolio of rugged CompactPCI/CompactPCI Plus IO/CompactPCI Serial boards and systems
  • Network devices available in compact, fanless box format and half 19" CompactPCI format
  • Computer on Modules (COMs) that utilize both the PICMG COM Express standard and the VITA 59 mechanical standard for tailored, highly rugged system designs

In addition to its full customization support, the company's core competencies include x86 and RISC processor architectures, development rules for safe applications, analog I/O design, FPGA technology, and Windows, Linux and real-time operating systems as well as RAMS and obsolescence management. In-house development, production, and full environmental test capability help guarantee complete traceability down to the component level and up to the system level and extremely high quality.

The company is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 (environment), EN 9100 (aerospace) and IRIS (railway) quality management systems, provides systems according to ISO 7637-2 (road traffic) requirements and is a member of several industry associations, including VITA and PICMG.

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