For those loosely or not at all familiar with the PICMG organization, it is a non-profit specification development group for embedded computing. You may be aware of specifications over the years such as COM Express, AdvancedTCA, and CompactPCI, among many others. With approximately 150 member companies, the group organizes companies large and small to develop reliable, scalable, and long-lasting open standard specifications.
PICMG is developing specifications for Industrial IoT (IIoT) and specifically Industry 4.0 for the smart factory. PICMG’s vision for the specifications was shared at the Embedded Tech Trends conference held January 22-23 2018 in Austin, TX, which hosted key electronics media in the embedded community. In short, the group intends to leverage it’s members existing deployed base in industrial automation systems that currently utilize technologies such as COM Express–a mezzanine-based small form factor approach–and CompactPCI Serial–a serial fabric backplane-based approach. Applying security and communication provisions while connecting the full chain from the sensor to the control gateway to a high-level data/control aggregator is the next step. To have a unified approach to attaching legacy PLC/control systems to the Industry 4.0 embedded computer, PICMG is proposing a new specification for a postage stamp sized board with simple I/O and communications interface.
PICMG has been collaborating with other IIoT and industry players on its new initiative. If you have interest in participating or in becoming a PICMG member, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, PICMG has developed a white paper on it’s IIoT vision, available at https://www.picmg.org/wp-content/uploads/Industrial-Internet-of-Things-20180111_DS.pdf.