Who Makes What: ATCA, AMC & MicroTCA
There are now many vendors of ATCA, ACM, and MicroTCA products. The range of the products themselves is correspondingly very wide and growing, as just about any processor-based equipment can be engineered into these formats.
This Who Makes What uses a simple vendor categorization based on broad levels of involvement in the technologies, as follows.
- Component level: Covers a wide range of basic items used in the construction of the higher-level products. Examples include connectors for AMCs, or front-panel fixers for ATCA cards and blades. This category also provides a convenient location for a few silicon-device specialists.
- Backplane/shelf/chassis level: Covers the basic physical parts and also the complete ATCA/MicroTCA chassis and enclosures before they are loaded with application-specific ACTA cards/blades. Although some vendors at this level specialize in, say, just backplanes or the metal-bashing of chassis and enclosures, many will provide a complete chassis or enclosure built to the base ATCA/MicroTCA specification.
- Board/blade level: Covers the ATCA cards and blades, as well as AMCs and AMC-based systems and subsystems. Examples include complete single-board processors, AMC-compliant DSP subsystems, and AMC-specified system interconnects such as RapidIO.
- Platform level: Strictly covers the loaded ATCA/MicroTCA chassis that provide OEMs with some fully functioning system capabilities or elements (for example, carrier-class blade server, or Ethernet switch, or customizable application platform). See the next page for more details on this sort of capability. Note that "platform" tends to be used by some vendors in the more modest sense of an ATCA or MicroTCA chassis that is complete in the full ATCA sense (with power, cooling, shelf management, and so on) but is still awaiting the application-specific blades.
Software and middleware are obviously used extensively in ATCA-based products but are not included in the listing of this Who Makes What in the interest of practicality; their inclusion would add a huge further dimension to the vendor list. However, it's necessary to stress that it has long been realized that the standardized ATCA approach encourages the formation of pre-integrated hardware/software combinations of considerable sophistication. For example, Wind River Systems Inc. , RadiSys, and OpenClovis a couple of years ago began offering a collaborative solution comprising the Wind River Platform for Network Equipment, Linux Edition; the RadiSys Promentum family of ATCA hardware platforms; and the OpenClovis Application Service Platform (ASP). The idea of this sort of platform is to deliver a fully tested system to the OEM.
Figure 2, taken from the earlier Light Reading Insider, gives further detail on aspects of the three upper levels and their interrelationships.
Table 1 lists a fairly wide selection of vendors against the four levels described above, along with a brief indication of their specific product interests. As might be expected, the board/blade level tends to dominate — it's got higher value than chassis and with scope for innovation, while not being as financially demanding as platforms, making it suitable for smaller specialists. AMCs are also well supported, presumably for their potentially very wide application in many markets beyond just telecom.
Although there is a lot of specialization, many vendors cover two or more categories — particularly the pairing of boards/blades with platforms, a combination that represents the acme of hardware value. Only a small number cover all three of the higher-layer categories.
Table 1: Vendors Categorized by Main Levels of Involvement in ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA
|Vendor||Component level||Backplane / shelf / chassis level||Board / blade level||Platform level||Product types include|
|Actel||Yes||Yes||Silicon solution for TCA system management|
|Adlink Technology Inc.||Yes||Yes||ATCA processor and switch blades, platforms, AMC modules|
|Advantech||Yes||ATCA processor blades, MicroTCA carrier hub, AMC modules|
|American Megatrends Inc||Yes||ATCA/AMC-compatible firmware for mezzanine management module|
|Astek Corporation||Yes||Storage products for ATCA, AMC and MicroTCA; AMC FibreChannel adapter|
|Astute Networks||Yes||ATCA storage blades|
|BittWare, Inc.||Yes||AMC processing, DSP, i/o modules|
|C&K Components||Yes||ATCA-compatible mechanical switches|
|CommAgility Ltd||Yes||Signal-processing AMC modules for wireless baseband applications for ATCA and MicroTCA platforms|
|Comtel Electronics GmbH||Yes||ATCA backplanes and chassis, MicroTCA chassis|
|Continuous Computing Corp.||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA compute, packet processing and switching blades, chassis, pre-integrated platforms and middleware and software|
|Dallas Logic Corporation||Yes||FPGA Interface AMCs, custom AMC development|
|Data Device Corporation||Yes||Multi-I/O MIL-STD-1553/ARINC 429 AMC Cards|
|Diversified Technology Inc.||Yes||Yes||ATCA CPU, node and switch blades/boards, ATCA platforms|
|Elma Bustronic Corporation||Yes||ATCA and MicroTCA backplanes and chassis|
|Elma Electronic AG||Yes||Yes||ATCA and MicroTCA chassis, platforms and enclosures|
|Emerson Network Power||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA and MicroTCA Integrated Platforms, Commercial ATCA bladed servers; ATCA blades (processors, hubs/switches, carriers), AMC modules (processor, storage, I/O), HA middleware and software|
|Emulex Corporation||Yes||Fibre Channel AMC Host Bus Adapters|
|ept GmbH||Yes||ATCA and MicroTCA connectors|
|ERNI Electronics GmbH||Yes||ATCA connectors|
|Extreme Engineering Solutions||Yes||ATCA processor blades, AMC modules|
|Extrusion Technology (XTech)||Yes||ATCA, MicroTCA and AMC faceplates, AMC carriers, other mechanical accessories|
|Gateware Communications||Yes||Yes||MicroTCA platforms, AMC modules|
|GDA Technologies, Inc.||Yes||ATCA single-board processors, AMC modules|
|GE Fanuc Embedded Systems||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA chassis, AMC modules, MicroTCA platforms|
|Global Velocity Inc.||Yes||MicroTCA-based firewall|
|Harting Inc.||Yes||ATCA, AMC and MicroTCA connectors|
|Hewlett-Packard Co.||Yes||Carrier-grade ATCA blade servers and platforms|
|Hybricon Corporation||Yes||Yes||MicroTCA chassis, accessories|
|Infranet||Yes||Yes||ATCA chassis, blades, shelf management|
|Interphase||Yes||ATCA Processor Blades, AMC modules|
|JumpGen Systems||Yes||ATCA Processor Blades, ATCA AMC Carrier Switch Blades, AMC Packet Processor Cards, AMC Processor Cards|
|Kaparel Corp.||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA and MicroTCA shelves and platforms, AMC carriers|
|Knuerr AG (Emerson Network Power)||Yes||ATCA shelves and enclosures|
|Kontron AG||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA and MicroTCA Integrated Platforms, ATCA platform elements (processors, hubs/switches, carriers), AMC modules (processor, storage, i/o)|
|LeCroy Corporation||Yes||Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) Interposer Probe|
|Linear Technology Corp.||Yes||ICs for ATCA solutions|
|MicroBlade||Yes||Yes||Yes||AMC and MicroTCA products: HDD-AMC, shelves, platforms|
|N.A.T. GmbH||Yes||Yes||MicroTCA carrier hubs and chassis, AMC telecom interfaces|
|NMS Communications||Yes||ATCA media server and enhanced services blades|
|PDSi (Pinnacle Data Systems Inc.)||Yes||ATCA carrier-grade compute/DSP blades and AMC modules|
|Penn Engineering||Yes||ATCA panel fasteners|
|Performance Technologies, Inc.||Yes||Yes||AMC modules and MicroTCA application-ready platforms|
|Pigeon Point Systems||Yes||Yes||ATCA, ACM and MicroTCA shelf and board management systems|
|Polaris Networks Inc.||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA, AMC and MicroTCA management software test tools|
|Portwell Inc.||Yes||Yes||ATCA chassis and processor boards|
|RadiSys||Yes||Yes||Yes||ATCA/AMC rackmount servers, integrated platforms, boards and blades, network and packet processing engines, and middleware and software|
|SANBlaze Technology Inc||Yes||ATCA/AMC board-level storage solutions for embedded computing systems|
|SBS Technologies Inc.||Yes||Yes||Yes||AMC processors, AMC chassis, MicroTCA platforms|
|Scan Engineering Telecom||Yes||Yes||AMC processor, telecom, I/O and digital signal processing (DSP) modules, MicroTCA systems|
|Schroff Ltd.||Yes||AMC carrier kits and panel assemblies, ATCA and MicroTCA chassis|
|SIE Computing Solutions||Yes||ATCA backplanes, ATCA and MicroTCA enclosures|
|Southco Inc.||Yes||ATCA-compliant faceplate mounting hardware|
|Sun Microsystems Inc.||Yes||ATCA carrier-class blade servers|
|Surf Communication Solutions||Yes||Converged audio/video media processing subsystem in AMC form factor pre-integrated with ATCA and MTCA|
|Tundra Semiconductor||Yes||System interconnect products for AMC|
|Tyco Electronics||Yes||Connectors and other components for ATCA and MicroTCA|
|VadaTech Inc.||Yes||Boards for processing, communication, storage, and platform interoperability|
|Yamaichi Electronics||Yes||AMC connectors for ATCA and MicroTCA|
|ZNYX Networks||Yes||Embedded Ethernet products|
|Source: Light Reading, 2009|
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