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ATCA wares on full display at show

Posted: 18 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:atca? microtca standard? advanced mezzanine card? amc? basestation controllers?

If the sheer volume of support from board developers, semiconductor players and embedded-software programmers is any indication, then the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture should turn the corner to mainstream acceptance at Supercomm.

Embedded computing specialists Motorola Computing Group and Artesyn Technologies roll out full ATCA product suites at the show. Applied Microcircuits Corp. and AudioCodes Ltd showed reference designs while Agilent Technologies Inc. rolled out an ATCA-specific test environment.

Supercomm 2005 also represents an ATCA milestone in that it will host the launch of several mezzanine modules meeting the new MicroTCA standard. The Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC), for one, is a module that will fit into a MicroTCA blade or pod that will allow the ganging of four or eight AMC devices in a chassis meeting ATCA or MicroTCA standards.

John Fryer, director of marketing for Motorola Inc.'s switched platforms operation, said MicroTCA will find a home in systems closer to the edge of the public network, such as small routers and access devices, internet protocol PBX systems and Node B base-station controllers. The full-size ATCA standard will be used in larger systems within carrier central offices, such as core routers and soft switches.

This year, Motorola introduced two families of ATCA productsa "naked hardware" version called Centellis, based on dual-Xeon boards and a Linux 2.6 kernel, and the Avantellis family, which is similarly configured but offers prebundled software environments from Motorola's NetPlane protocol software group.

Both families are based on a 14-slot 12U chassis, with a switching blade offering base and fabric interfaces, and a choice of processing blades using dual Xeon or powerpc.

Artesyn's mezzanine-card effort for MicroTCA will begin with a dual-wide Pentium card, the Kosai PM. The card marries a Pentium with an Intel F7520 north-bridge device, a south bridge and support for up to 2GB of DDR SRAM.

Artesyn shows off an ATCA board that will support up to four mezzanine cards for use in control-plane processing or communication services. The Katana ATCA board supports a dual symmetric-multiprocessing PowerPC. The four cards leverage the PMC configuration, but can support a move to AMC in the future. RISC-based processing can be extended through the use of the Katana packet processor blade, which can be expanded to incorporate as many as six PowerPCs.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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