Kontron expands its open modular solutions with the highly complementary MicroTCA open standard

SAN JOSE, CA  April 4, 2006  Kontron, a market leader in embedded computer technology, today announced from the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) the introduction of a new development system based on the soon-to-be ratified PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) MicroTCA (Micro Telecom Computing Architecture) specification. The MicroTCA demo, which supports PCI-Express, embodies the long-term strategic plans for Kontron to leverage its existing open modular platforms of AdvancedTCA and AdvancedMC building blocks with the highly complementary new open standard.

The MicroTCA standard features a smaller and more economical footprint, whereby a MicroTCA chassis uses AdvancedMC modules populated directly onto the backplane. With already a choice of existing Kontron processor, I/O and storage AdvancedMC modules, MicroTCA platforms have tremendous potential for WiMAX access points, DSLAMs, VoIP access gateways, and IP-PBX applications, among others.

While the AdvancedTCA standard was created primarily for the communications market, MicroTCA offers up an equal number of opportunities for other market applications such as for medical and industrial imaging, defense communications and any environment that requires high density server farms, or, intensive, high I/O processing in smaller and more cost-efficient footprints.

As an active PICMG participant in the formation of the MicroTCA standard, Kontron firmly believes in its long-term market potential, said Norbert Hauser, Vice President Marketing, Kontron. The effort by the PICMG community to leverage the harmonizing work of the AdvancedTCA, AdvancedMC and now the MicroTCA open standards will continue to be extremely attractive to communications equipment manufacturers who seek higher cost-efficiencies and very competitive time-to-market product cycles.

When an enterprise outgrows its proprietary IP-PBX it has to be replaced by another unit which is typically costly and difficult to manage, said Marc Leclaire, Product Manager, Kontron. What makes MicroTCA so ideal is its flexible modular design and the variety of chassis sizes, from a small cube to a 19 footprint. For growing enterprises, this leaves plenty of room to expand and even integrate other enterprise applications such as CTI, IVR, billing onto the same system, further reducing CAPEX and OPEX.

"MicroTCA will be used in a wide range of applications, across the Telecom, Military, Medical and Industrial markets, that require the carrier class capabilities of AdvancedTCA on a smaller platform," said Simon Stanley, Principal Consultant at Earlswood Marketing. "The rapid growth in the number of AdvancedMC cards used in both AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA will shorten the time to market with the first MicroTCA systems becoming available during 2007."

Ideal MicroTCA-based applications
With hot-swap support and autonomous system management  like AdvancedTCA  as well as switched fabric functionality, MicroTCA is ideally adapted for both enterprise and carrier-grade access network applications. Typical applications include:
" BTS (Base Transceiver Station)/Node B in the cell phone infrastructure, directly managing the control and communications tasks behind every cellular network antenna;

" VoIP gateways for low-cost cell phone telecommunications over IP from the Base Transceiver Station;

" IEEE 802.16-compliant WiMAX solutions, which no longer require a dedicated line of sight for wireless communications but rather offer wireless access in a range of up to 3 km (1.8 miles) in urban areas;

" IP-PBX (IP-based Private Branch Exchange) enterprise systems, providing physical IP WAN dial-up connections to subscribers connected in a star configuration;

" MTU NGDLCs (Multi-Tenant Unit Next-Generation Digital Loop Carriers), enabling new telecom applications to be transferred via existing copper lines; and

" DSLAMs (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers), which concent

rate several dedicated xDSL dial-in connections to optimize the network load and lie on the interface between the access layer and the aggregation layer

AMCeverywhere to its fullest extent
A long-standing Kontron strategy has been to demonstrate the advantages of its AMCeverywhere approach of employing AdvancedMC modules with processor, switch and carrier AdvancedTCA boards. As the smallest field-replaceable units on the market, AdvancedMCs offer extended granularity of the system architecture and are ideally suited to scaling, standardization, and customization due to its modular approach. With the possibility to now leverage the uniqueness of AdvancedMCs in independent MicroTCA systems, NEPs (Network Equipment Providers) can achieve incredible economies of scale.

MicroTCA also does not incur additional development costs as it is based on the same architecture as AdvancedTCA and supports the identical Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) found in AdvancedTCA to provide power management and system-monitoring.

More about Kontron Open Modular Solutions
Kontron shortens the application design process by ensuring that each open modular building block is fully interoperable and designed to be both the right technology and the right architecture in mind to suit any development needs. Kontron pre-integrated open modular solutions are customizable and also feature options for best-in-class carrier-grade OS and middleware software solutions. Kontron offers a diverse selection of AdvancedTCA processor, switch and carrier platforms, plus complementary field-replaceable AdvancedMC processor, storage, and I/O modules.

About Kontron
A global leader in embedded computer technology and mobile rugged solutions, Kontron supplies a diversified customer base of OEMs, system integrators, and application providers in the: automation, test and measurement, communications, medical, gaming and entertainment, military, aerospace, transportation, and energy markets. The company helps its customers considerably reduce their time-to-market and gain a competitive advantage with products including: high-performance open computer platforms and systems, single board computers, human-machine interfaces, and mobile rugged computers and displays. Kontron employs more than 2,300 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. The company is listed on the German TecDAX 30 stock exchange under the symbol "KBC". Kontron is a Premier member in the Intel ® Communications Alliance which means earliest access to leading-edge Intel technologies and privileged engineering support. For additional information on Kontron, please visit www.kontron.com.

For further information:
Editor Contact
Richard Pugnier
Manager, Marketing Communications
Kontron America

Technical Contact
Peter Matz
Product Marketing Manager
Kontron  North America
+1 450.437.5682 x2415

back all news


Stay connected