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Advanced TCA packaging solutions platform

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article image The specification also allows 16-slot systems to be built.

THE Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture specification (PICMG 3.0) from Schroff, represented by Dedicated Systems , was originally tailored specifically to the telecom market, but high performance networking products can also be built with this platform.

A new form factor has been defined with a board height of 8U, a front board depth of 280mm and a rear I/O board (RTM) depth of 70mm.

The front panel width is 6HP with the board offset by 0.1". The offset provides more room for SMT components on the rear of the board.

Repositioning the EMC gasket to the left side of the front panel lowers the risk of component damage during extraction of the boards. The new handle has been optimised for high insertion and extraction forces.

The traditional parallel bus is substituted by fast serial connections. When a Dual Star backplane is used, two fabric and twelve node boards can be used in a chassis designed to fit into a 19" cabinet. With a full mesh backplane 14 node boards can be used.

Other backplane architectures may be built such as Dual Dual Star and Replicated Mesh. The specification also allows 16-slot systems to be built that fit into 23" telecom or 600mm ETSI cabinets.

AdvancedTCA systems are designed for a maximum power dissipation of 200W per board. A 14-slot chassis can dissipate up to 2.8kW.

The connectors in an AdvancedTCA system are categorised into three different groups, Zones 1 through 3.

* The Zone 1 connector provides power, primary (IPMI) system management, and the board's geographic address.

* The Zone 2 connectors have both a 10/100/1000BASE-T Base interface and a fabric interface defined. The Base interface is used for transferring FLASH memory images, loading firmware, and high level management functions. The fabric interface is used to transfer large amounts of data at high speeds.

* The Zone 3 connectors are determined by the individual application. The 70mm deep RTM (rear transition module) connects directly to the front board. This allows either metallic or fibre connectors to be used between the front board and the RTM.

An efficient management system with electronic keying is responsible for monitoring and powering up the boards, enabling the fabric ports, thermal management, remote maintenance and software updates.

The range of ATCA products comprises these features:

* They support a full array of backplane topologies: Dual Star, Dual Dual Star or Full Mesh interconnect.

* Backplanes are configurable to support both, radial and bussed IPMI topology.

* They offer state-of-the-art shelf and thermal management.

* 14-slot/12U and 14U chassis (16-slot/13U coming soon); 5-slot/5U chassis; 2-slot/3U development chassis with power supply.

* Fan controller & shelf manager boards

* Backplanes 2, 5, 14 Slots

* CPCI to ATCA adapter board

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