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Development chassis eases MicroTCA design

Posted: 28 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Molex? MicroTCA? Dual-Star µTCA? µTCA? backplane?

MicroTCA development chassis from Molex

Molex Inc. has developed a MicroTCA (?TCA) backplane and development chassis to allow developers to build and debug MicroTCA designs before going to production. The backplane has a fully redundant dual-star architecture designed to run at 10Gbps and can handle up to four times the bandwidth of a backplane wired to meet XAUI specifications.

This evaluation platform is suitable for developing applications that use off-the-shelf cards to configure systems for telecommunication applications such as access products, FTTX, cellular and WiMAX base stations as well as industrial, instrumentation and medical applications.

The Molex Dual-Star ?TCA backplane features the company's ?TCA press-fit edgecard connectors and Micro-Fit 3.0 14-pin, blind-mate fan tray connectors to mate to hot-swappable fan trays and to ensure complete redundancy. Measuring 16.82-by-5 inches, the ?TCA backplane uses single-wide AMC cards, and bolts into the Molex ?TCA development chassis as well as the Rittal development chassis that is already available in many test labs.

The backplane has four compact slots, allowing either 10 full-height AMC cards (or 4 compact and 8 full-height payload slots). This gives the ?TCA backplane a total of 12 AMC slots. Fabric B on ports 2 and 3 is configured to support SAS or SATA drives in any of the slots, allowing customers to connect processor cards directly to storage drives. It also features slots for two MCH modules and two power supplies, making it easy to test hand-off features to the alternate MCH or power supply.

Suitable for developing and debugging ?TCA systems using single-width AMC modules, Molex and Simon Industries will offer the ?TCA development chassis together with the Molex ?TCA backplane to enable customers to manage the development process. Measuring 17.25-by-7.13-by-10 inches deep, the ?TCA development chassis is believed to be the smallest, fully featured ?TCA development platform available.

The development chassis also includes an AC/DC power converter at the rear of the chassis, which allows the use of either 110V or 220V at the lab bench or desk. This power supply is capable of distributing 1200W at 48V to the DC/DC converters that deliver 12V across the backplane, allowing engineers to evaluate various power supplies, redundancy and fail-over capabilities.

These products are currently available in limited quantities with a delivery of four to six weeks.

- Gina Roos

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