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Date: 08-05-13

eATCA system architecture from Advantech improves blade density

Advantech has introduced new system architecture called eATCA systems that integrate standard ATCA blades with extended rear transition modules (eRTM) providing almost four times more real-estate for PCIe-based I/O connectivity.

“eATCA addresses the higher-end performance needs of datacom customers by combining the advantages of standardized ATCA with the benefits of full custom platform design.” said Peter Marek, senior director x86 solutions, Advantech Networks and Communications Group. “On one hand ATCA is a cost effective architecture which is highly scalable across a broad range of technologies and is available off the shelf. It brings all the advantages of an open standard carrier grade platform with broad ecosystem support, high blade density and great performance. But it would bring greater benefits to datacom customers if it supported an appliance type I/O model, options for storage expansion and had the flexibility to add application and customer specific special purpose hardware without the need to customize the COTS blades. Most of all, customers expect a high end networking platform to be managed like a single network element rather than a collection of blades within one chassis.. That’s what we have designed eATCA to do; we’ve effectively made ATCA look like a big appliance to support consistent management across our customers’ full product line.”

“eATCA is a semi-custom, system level approach to implement high end communications platforms that allow for OEM differentiation but it also offers the distinct advantages of COTS building block re-use.” said Marek. “Custom architectures can be implemented by designing custom eRTMs while the system design can be fully branded and customized to specific requirements like an appliance. The distinct advantage for an ODM is not only the flexibility which eATCA provides, it’s also the ability to clearly differentiate from competition.”

Advantech says by consolidating multiple dual Intel Xeon based appliances and rackmount switches into an eATCA platform, twelve 2RU appliances and two 1RU switches can be condensed into 16RU height.

Blade capacity ranges from 2 to 14-slots per system supporting standard off-the-shelf ATCA blades including x86, NPUs and switches in both dual-star and dual dual-star topologies with up to 400W thermal design performance (TDP) per slot. The eRTMs support up to 200W TDP and real-estate to facilitate blade extensions such as appliance style I/O using Advantech’s Network Mezzanine Cards (NMCs).

14-slot systems can support up to four hub blades, each with dedicated eRTMs offering over two terabits per second backplane switching capacity. Hub blade eRTMs can provide full system I/O capabilities along with fan-out switches, traffic managers, load balancing or even customized functions.

A 2-slot eATCA appliance consists of two dual socket Intel Xeon blades or a single dual socket Intel Xeon blade and one NPU or special purpose blade.

More details on eATCA is available at www.advantech.com.tw/nc/newsletter/eDM/Eatca

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