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Actel to release MicroTCA ref designs

Posted: 19 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Actel? Fusion? FPGAs? FPGA? MicroTCA?

Actel Corp. disclosed that it will use its Fusion FPGA series in a series of reference designs for the Micro Telecommunications Computing Architecture (MicroTCA) standard, a small-form-factor version of Advanced TCA.

While ATCA is aimed at full-sized chassis implementations of open-backplane telecom switches or gateways, MicroTCA uses a small daughtercard, called an advanced mezzanine card (AMC), along with system boards designed for smaller gateways and Internet Protocol multimedia subsystems.

Dennis Kish, vice president of marketing at Actel, said the company determined that the MicroTCA market is growing faster than ATCA and that designers need help with shelf management concepts.

The first reference designs, based on MicroTCA version 1.0 and on version 2.0 of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), will be an advanced mezzanine card and a power module, both slated to roll this year. Reference designs for a cooling module, MicroTCA carrier hub and power supply reference are planned for 2007.

"There are a lot of companies working on AMC designs," Kish said, but "OEMs need help with cooling, power supplyall aspects of MicroTCA."

While MicroTCA has many enterprise switching and storage uses, the melding of radio network controllers, fixed/mobile convergence designs, IP multimedia subsystems and voice-over-IP gateways have really escalated the market. Kish said many OEMs are looking to combine wireless and wireline functions in single, small-form-factor systems based on MicroTCA.

Designs rolling
Actel has worked with board-level and power-supply partners to marry the Fusion programmable system chip with high-integration control and power functions. Power Module, containing Enhanced Module Management Controller, uses dual-redundant I?C links and hardwired fail-safe logic. The board dissipates 384W with 93 percent efficiency.

Actel's AMC reference design implements the IPMI stack on the Core8051 controller in the FPGA. One I?C link from the 8051 connects to an internal I2C bus, while the other link connects to a local Intelligent Platform Management Bus.

The MicroTCA carrier hub reference design, now being developed for 2007 release, will be free to Fusion customers. It will support MicroTCA carrier management controller functions, including shelf and carrier management. The supply reference will convert ac to 48V sources.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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