Kontron expands its open modular solutions with the highly complementary MicroTCA open standard
Paris, France, 4 April 2006 − Kontron today announced from the RTS Embedded Systems 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 its AdvancedTCA counterpart 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.
"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 concentrate 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.