The PC/104 Consortium is an international membership organization dedicated to expanding the worldwide market for PC/104 compatible embedded products. The Consortium maintains industry specifications on PC/104 and related form factors such as ONEBANK, PCIe/104 and PCI/104 – Express and makes them available to manufacturers, engineers and users.
The PC/104 Consortium was established in February 1992 by 12 companies with a common vision of adapting desktop computer technology for embedded applications. This consortium has had a tremendous, positive effect on the embedded computer marketplace. The initial release of the PC/104 specification in March of 1992 was an open design offering the power and flexibility of an IBM compatible personal computer in a size ideally suited for embedding. Simple and elegant in design, small but rugged in performance, PC/104 technology bridged the success’s of the past with the promises of future innovations.
The ISA bus of the original IBM PC as established by the IEEE P996 specification is still fully supported today by PC/104 technology over two decades after it was created.
When demand for a faster, higher bandwidth bus emerged, the PC/104 Consortium once again followed the desktop PC by adding a PCI bus to the ISA bus. PC/104-Plus was introduced in February of 1997. By keeping the ISA bus and adding the PCI bus, this specification became an addition to the technology… not a replacement of any existing technology.
When desktop PCs stopped having the ISA bus, the PC/104 Consortium was ready with PCI-104. The concept of PCI with no ISA was introduced in the original PC/104-Plus specification, but formally recognized with its own specification in November 2003. Once again, the PC/104 Consortium followed the desktop PC, while keeping the legacy specifications intact.
This growth pattern underscores the PC/104 Consortium’s desire to support the legacy technology while developing new solutions for the future. Longevity is a requirement for embedded systems and one of the hallmarks of the PC/104 Technology… proven again by the number of PC/104, PC/104-Plus, and PCI-104 products on the marketplace as well as the number of PC/104 sites on other form factor boards.