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PC/104 Embedded Consortium Members Adopt PCIe/104 Type 2 Specification

PC/104 Embedded Consortium

The PC/104 Embedded Consortium members have voted and accepted the new PCIe/104 Type 2 specification.

The goal behind the Type 2 specification is to expand the feature set available on PCIe/104 and PCI/104 Express while maintaining compatibility with a growing eco-system of host and peripheral solutions.

The high-speed surface mount connectors used for PCIe/104 consists of 3 banks and are essential in ensuring the ability to introduce PCIe/104 Type 2 without any negative effects to current Type 1 hardware. Type 2 maintains bank 1 completely and maintains the same power, ground, and control signals on banks 2 and 3 to prevent conflict with any existing PCI Express x1 or USB peripheral card. On Type 1, bank 2 and bank 3 contain only the PCI Express x16 lane.

Eliminating the x16 PCIe lanes provides access to new features including two SATA ports to facilitate hard drives in the PC/104 stack. Two USB 3.0 ports cater to the future and are prominent in all companies’ roadmaps. Lane shifting on the SATA and USB 3.0 once again means universal peripheral boards. LPC adds support for legacy devices and many applications that need a battery to backup the real time clock. Two PCIe x4 lanes that are compatible with PCIe/104 round out the connector.

“The biggest challenge when introducing a specification update is providing significant change while being compatible with existing specifications.” Says board president Jim Blazer. “Type 2 is a natural, logical advancement to PCIe/104 that is completely consistent with Type 1. Add to that the versatility that Type 2 brings and it is easy to see why PC/104 Embedded Consortium’s technical committee, board, and members overwhelmingly supported adoption of this specification enhancement.”

Type 2 advantages include compatibility with PCI Express x1 lane, PCI Express x4 lane, or a USB 2.0 lane on current PCIe/104 Type 1 peripherals. Changing the PCI Express x16 lane affects PCI Express x16 peripheral cards only and provides access to more features. Bank 2 has PCI Express transmit signals and Bank 3 has PCI Express receive signals. By keeping this convention as well as all power and ground pin locations, ensures that there are no destructive consequences of an improper stacking. Additionally, host boards can be designed to support both Type 1 and Type 2 boards.

For a full technical description of PCIe/104 Type 2 or to download this new specification for free visit www.pc104.org/full_specs.php today!

About the PC/104 Embedded Consortium

The consortium is the focal point for the entire PC/104 industry including manufactures and OEMs. It provides a place for information on current specifications, product offerings, news, and events and a place to advance and develop specifications that are consistent and stable for long-term use.

The PC/104 Consortium and standard were established in 1992. PC/104, in use since 1987, is a small form factor, embedded PC physical and electrical interface standard. It provides embedded system designers with an architecture that is dense, cost effective and based on proven, practical technology. PC/104-Plus, an extension that was added to the standard in 1995, incorporates PCI technology. A PCI only version, PCI-104 was incorporated into the specification in 2003. Stackable PCI Express was added to the PC/104 architecture in early 2008 with the PCI/104-Express & PCIe/104 specification. The EBX form factor, a full-size format created in 1997, was adopted by the Consortium in early 2005. EPIC form factor, a mid-sized format that supports PC/104 and PC/104-Plus was adopted in early 2005.

For more technical information on PC/104, PC/104-Plus, PCI-104, PCI/104 Express, PCIe/104, EBX, EPIC, and EPIC Express specifications, please visit www.pc104.org.

Source: PC/104 Embedded Consortium