January 30, 2014
Most of you are probably aware that MicroTCA is used in a wide range of Communications-based applications for leading-edge solutions. The high-performance robust architecture continues to steamroll into new Mil/Aero designs and has become the architecture of choice for High Energy Physics. There have been several technology advances that make this compact and powerful form factor even more attractive. The specification is in draft for 40GbE across the backplane (currently 10GbE) and PCIe Gen 3 products are becoming more common. New 100G line cards (out the front panel) have been introduced. For Rugged applications, MTCA.2 and MTCA.3 are released for hybrid air/conduction and conduction-cooled designs respectively. For Physics applications, a wealth of ADC and DAC converters have entered the market along with chassis, RTMs, specialty boards, and more. Other applications requiring rear I/O could potentially benefit from some of these new developments.
With MIL rugged options, inherent shelf management, and interoperable multi-fabric versatility, the MicroTCA architecture continues to expand its presence in several markets.
By Justin Moll, Vadatech