Enclosures, Racks, Cabinets & Panel Products


Open, modular MicroTCA platform

2 April 2008 Enclosures, Racks, Cabinets & Panel Products

The design of MicroTCA systems for industrial applications demands compact and modular solutions for small multiprocessor systems based on PCI Express (PCIe), Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or Serial Rapid IO (SRIO) in the backplane. Costly components such as power modules may be dispensed with. Together with its partner Kontron, Schroff has now developed a MicroTCA system of this type. In doing so Schroff has applied its know-how in the areas of mechanical design, backplane technology, thermal management and simulation. The cooling design was simplified by the appropriate choice of assembly type.

The 3 U high, 250 mm deep and 156 mm wide case contains four slots for AdvancedMC single full-size modules, arranged vertically. By employing mechanical adaptors it is also possible to use mid-size AdvancedMC modules. For industrial applications the system may be installed vertically or horizontally, or alternatively used as a desktop system. Ventilation is provided by two axial fans without redundancy and without fan monitoring. Since no AdvancedMC modules are arranged in rows, but rather each module receives ventilation individually, this ventilation design is highly effective.

A 150 W a.c. power supply behind the backplane provides the DC voltage and permits a dissipation loss of 30 W for each AdvancedMC slot and for the MCH (MicroTCA Carrier Hub). Optionally, a 250 W unit is also available that offers 50 W per slot. A mains switch is provided on the rear side of the system.

This system uses MCHs that conform to the MicroTCA standard, but does not employ a MicroTCA power module (PM). As an option, connection of the 12 V power supply can be time-delayed to allow the MCH to check the system configuration in advance and to negotiate with the AdvancedMC modules via e-keying. A further option is an upgrade to a simple power management via I2C bus.

GbE switch, PCIe clocks, PCIe switch or SRIO switch are included in the MCH. The backplane provides the appropriate connections between the AdvancedMC modules and the MCH in a Single Star topology. GbE is connected to port 0 on each AdvancedMC slot. PCIe is implemented on each AdvancedMC slot with 4 x PCIe lanes (ports 4 to 7), thus providing sufficient bandwidth for even high-speed I/O boards. Because of the PCIe switch, the PCIe lanes are decoupled from one another. Optionally, the system can also be operated with Serial Rapid IO via the PCIe lanes. In addition, the backplane contains SAS/SATA lanes allowing the connection of AdvancedMC hard disks to two AdvancedMC slots.

All AdvancedMC sockets in the system are fully compatible with PIGMG AMC.0 R2.0, the Advanced Mezzanine Card base specification. The system uses standard MCHs and thus is also intended as an entry into MicroTCA.



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