February 24, 2009
Emerson Network Power Launches Dual Core AdvancedMC Module
By Richard Grigonis, Executive Editor, IP Communications Group
Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture, also called AdvancedTCA or ATCA, was probably the largest specification effort in the history of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG), with more than 100 companies participating.
Unlike its predecessor, CompactPCI (cPCI), which took years for its specification to mature, ATCA was propelled through the development and ratification process in record time.
ATCA’s official specification designation is PICMG 3.x. It targets the requirements for hefty, next-gen "carrier grade" communications equipment. ATCA backplanes can handle the latest high speed serial interconnect (“switch fabric”) technologies, next generation processors, and improved Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS).
On the boards that plug into slots in an ATCA chassis, there are usually several sites reserved for smaller plug-in Advanced Mezzanine Cards, also known as AdvancedMC (News - Alert) or AMC). These tend to be so powerful that there are circumstances where their processing of I/O functionality is the only requirement, which led to the smaller MicroTCA (News - Alert) standard wherein the AMC cards plug right into a small COTS chassis that allow AMC cards to function without any ATCA carrier card. (MicroTCA R1.0 was approved on July 6, 2006.) Versions of MicroTCA with small numbers of AdvancedMC card slots are informally known as NanoTCA and PicoTCA.
And now, Emerson Network Power of Tempe, Arizona, a business of Emerson (News - Alert) and a leader in enabling what they call Business-Critical Continuity, has now launched the PrAMC-7220, its next generation AMC general-purpose processor module powered by the latest 45nm Intel CoreTM2 Duo dual core processor. The high performance module’s on-board flash memory and best-in-class I/O configuration allow the PrAMC-7220 to address a variety of embedded applications for wired and wireless networking, security/surveillance, medical imaging, industrial control, and defense/aerospace markets.
The PrAMC-7220 features 4GB of NAND flash memory plus a MicroSD expansion slot for additional solid state storage – making it ideal for embedded environments. The PrAMC-7220 also features a best-in-class front panel 1000BASE-T I/O including dual Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and RJ-45 console serial ports to increase connectivity and network bandwidth. Additional connectivity to the carrier board is also available via dual SATA-150 storage interfaces and x8 PCI Express lanes.
By championing the AMC standard, Emerson Network Power’s (News - Alert) family of processing modules are suited to address many issues that frequently impact NEBS (Network Equipment Building System, which defines a minimum generic set of spatial and environmental / safety requirements developed many years ago by Bellcore for use in COs and other telephone buildings of BCCs, or Bellcore Client Companies) and other demanding environments - including availability, field upgradeability, cost, scalability and interoperability - off the shelf.
Available in full-size (1.8 GHz) and mid-size (1.2 GHz) models equipped with 4GB DDR2-400 SDRAM, the PrAMC-7220 features an IPMI-based management interface, which enables operators to pinpoint and fix problems at the module level with a reduced fault group size. The product is also fully hot-swappable, enabling operators or service personnel to replace or service modules without bringing down an entire blade or system. These features enable scalability, reduce sparing costs and mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) as well as lower both capital and operating expenditure.
The PrAMC-7220 also supports clock synchronization and is fully compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, MontaVista Carrier Grade Edition Linux and Wind River (News - Alert) Systems Platform for Network Equipment Linux Edition.
Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC�s IP Communications Group. To read more of Richard’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi