PICMG is a nonprofit consortium of companies and organizations that collaboratively develop open standards for high performance telecommunications, military, industrial, and general purpose embedded computing applications.
There are over 250 member companies that specialize in a wide range of technical disciplines, including mechanical and thermal design, single board computer design, very high speed signaling design and analysis, networking expertise, backplane and packaging design, power management, High Availability software, and comprehensive system management.
Founded in 1994, PICMG’s original mission was to extend the PCI standard to non-desktop applications. The formal name of the organization is the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group. It is now known as PICMG (pronounced"PICK-EM-GEE"or"PICK-MIG").
Equipment built to PICMG standards is used worldwide and anyone can build or use equipment without restriction (although certain technologies used for some military applications may be subject to U.S. export restrictions governed by ITAR rules).
Key standards families developed by PICMG include CompactPCI®, AdvancedTCA®, MicroTCA®, AdvancedMC®, CompactPCI® Serial, COM Express®, SHB Express®, and HPM (Hardware Platform Management). Requirements for a new, very high performance platform for data center and telecom applications are being developed and this effort will start in 2014.
In its 20 years of operation, PICMG has published over 50 specifications developed by participants from hundreds of companies. Work across a wide range of markets, applications, and technologies continues as the boundaries of datacom, telecom, mil/aero, industrial, man machine interface applications, and deeply embedded computing blur.
A rigorous Intellectual Property Policy ensures early discovery of any member-owned IP and all members must agree to RAND (Reasonable and Non Discriminatory) licensing of any IP written into a standard. To date, no PICMG standard requires any license or royalty to build or operate. PICMG’s Intellectual Property Policy is one of the best, if not the best policy in the computer standards world.
A formal, multi-step development process is used that is both rigorous and fair, and development work can be periodically be reviewed by all member companies, although work inside of a technical subcommittee is confidential to the members of that committee until their work is ready for broader review by other members. Until a specification or standards related document is ratified by the entire membership it is confidential to PICMG. After ratification, all documents are available to the general public.