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14-slot AdvancedTCA shelf adds performance

Posted: 02 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tracewell systems? co-star? advancedtca? atca?

Tracewell Systems' second generation CO-Star 14-slot AdvancedTCA (ATCA) Central Office Shelf touts numerous design enhancements, including an advanced split backplane design for easy customization, highly robust construction, board-to-board assembly to eliminate internal wire harnesses, and additional airflow capacity for cooling beyond 200 watts per slot.

The new unit is designed to meet GR-63 and GR-1089 UL/EN 60950 EN55024 (in process) for NEBS Level III. Advanced features include advanced push-pull cooling and high performance shelf management. Both 14-slot dual-dual star and full mesh versions can be provided as special order.

This shelf system allows the field engineer to identify operating problems down to the field replaceable unit (FRU) level. The FRUs provide standard failure alerts. In addition, the system provides predictive failure non-critical alerts.

Redundant fan trays help to eliminate single points of failure. Each shelf also includes redundancy at the control circuit level, where an intelligent platform management (IPM) controller is located on the system's two buses (IPMB-A and IPMB-B). For added redundancy, each IPM bus has a separate control processor with information sharing in a system that's designed for "five nines" reliability.

The fan system, with advanced software control, allows operation at 200 watts per slot even in the event of a fan failure. Cooling is also provided for rear transition modules (RTMs, up to 30 watts per slot). Under normal operating conditions, fan speeds are reduced to provide quiet operation. If a fan fails, the speed of the remaining fans increases to 130 percent to compensate for lost airflow. The fan tray units are designed for fast and easy replacement. Fan trays also include an MTBF tracking sensor, alerting the system manager when fans approach the end of rated operating life. The MTBF value is adjusted based on fan speed and temperature.

Power is provided to the shelf through the rear mounted power entry module (PEM), which provides common and differential mode EMC filters. Power is distributed in a redundant arrangement so that a single power feed or a single PEM can fail without affecting system operation. Power sensors provide alerts when voltages and or currents deviate from expected values.

Motorola's M100 shelf manager serves as the shelf management controller (ShMC) for running middleware. It includes an HPI and SNMP interface, as well as on-board RMCP server. This system will support other shelf management systems.

There are two backplane options. The dual-star version supports centralized switching through two center hub slots. A full-mesh version adds support for distributed switching. The fabric layout has been characterized and tested to provide link performance up to 6.25 Gb/s. For maximum reliability, the backplane includes bused IPMB management connectivity. The backplane also serves as the main interconnect point for all FRU devices, nearly eliminating wiring throughout. The system's split backplane design separates the base and fabric interface section from the rest of the backplane for faster customization.

The CO-Star AdvancedTCA Central Office Shelf is $8,500 each (quantity of 10 with dual ShMC and PEMs) and the units are available 8 to 10 weeks ARO.

- Vince Biancomano


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