PICMG ratifies MicroSAM module format for smart sensors

October 14, 2020 //By Ally Winning
PICMG has ratified the MicroSAM specification. MicroSAM is an MCU-agnostic, ultra-small form-factor module for smart sensor applications.
PICMG has ratified the MicroSAM specification. MicroSAM is an MCU-agnostic, ultra-small form-factor module for smart sensor applications.

MicroSAM is the first of a series of IIoT-related open standards to be ratified by PICMG. It is the first, and so far only, open hardware specification that looks at the sensor market. MicroSAM was developed to allow a distributed architecture with Plug and Play network integration. The specification provides the definition for a 32mm x 32mm module hardware platform for the development of smart sensors.

“I would liken the impact of this specification on the IIoT market to that of the Open Compute Project on the data center space”, said Doug Sandy, Chief Technical Officer, PICMG. “When combined with the PICMG sensor domain network architecture and data model, sensors will seamlessly integrate into the network with plug-and-play interoperability”, he continued.

MicroSAM provides the guidelines for a compact module targeted at MCUs for each of the IIoT sensor nodes. Processing performance and I/O connectivity are targeted at the sensor interface. MicroSAM can work besides other embedded technologies, with MicroSAM devices providing sensor connectivity, and PICMG standards such as COM Express, CompactPCI Serial or MicroTCA providing higher layers of control.

Jessica Isquith, president of PICMG, adds “this specification has the potential to accelerate the shift to better sensor interoperability and encourage a better and wider range of options.”

Other specification work being undertaken by PICMG includes requirements for common firmware features, common data model, network architecture, and integration with the Distributed Management Task Force’s (DMTF) Redfish management API.

The specification will benefit the industry by:

1) Allowing the creation of smart sensors without having to manufacture the control circuitry and/or software by purchasing these components from PICMG-compliant suppliers.

2) Enabling the creation of smart sensors or smart-sensor components in a way that is interoperable with other suppliers.

3) Accelerating the uptake of smart-sensor technology through open-specifications and interoperability.

MicroSAM was developed in collaboration with ADLINK Technology Inc., AMI USA Holdings Inc., Arroyo Technology, Avnet Integrated, Elma Electronic, ept, Intel, Lodz University


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