PICMG InterEdge, OPAF Partner to Advance Open Process Control Technology

 PICMG InterEdge, OPAF Partner to Advance Open Process Control Technology

PICMG, the consortium for open hardware specifications, has entered a liaison partnership with The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) to collaboratively develop interoperable, interchangeable technology specifications for the process control industry.

The partnership fills a gap in edge controller hardware that exists in the O-PAS Standard—an open architectural framework for developing industrial process automation systems, currently being defined by OPAF initiatives.

Governed by The Open Group, OPAF membership is comprised of more than 110 member organizations, including Exxon Mobil, Schneider Electric, Phoenix Contact, and Intel. The companies work collaboratively to address the needs of end users in the process control market.

The O-PAS framework references existing standards wherever possible or, in the absence of such standards, works with associated organizations to achieve proper standard definition.

To complete and standardize work on an edge controller performed by OPAF member Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), OPAF evaluated several hardware standards development organizations. Members selected PICMG to develop a new open edge hardware technology specification that defines electromechanical interoperability, interchangeability, hot plug capabilities, and compatibility with existing standards such as IEC 61499 and IEC 61131.

The result was the recently ratified InterEdge specification.

Founded in 1994, PICMG is a consortium of more than 150 member companies that defines open, interoperable, and multi-vendor technology specifications for high-performance embedded computing platforms.

With a heritage of specifications that span edge-to-cloud use cases, including CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, and COM Express, PICMG brings a proven process and track record of successfully producing lasting, quality technology specifications.

The InterEdge specification introduces a modular open architecture that delivers state-of-the-art I/O abstraction and flexibility and in a common physical form factor. It supports the OPAF and O-PAS goals of reducing integration, maintenance, and upgrade costs in the highly fragmented and largely proprietary process control technology market.

The OPAF and PICMG relationship is ongoing, with work on new versions of the InterEdge specification already underway. Meanwhile, OPAF has introduced InterEdge to its physical platform subcommittee, who plan to include the specification in an upcoming revision of the O-PAS Standard and devise a set of tests that evaluate conformance to the InterEdge specification.

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