AdvancedMC® Overview

amcThe AdvancedMC® standard defines a family of mezzanine cards advanced-mc-348x232that can be used in a variety of ways. Also known as Advanced Mezzanine Cards, or, more commonly, AMC cards, this technology was originally developed as an adjunct to the AdvancedTCA standard to customize I/O or peripheral processing functions when plugged onto an AdvancedTCA CPU or mezzanine carrier card. Customizing I/O using AMC’s makes it possible to use the same AdvancedTCA CPU board in a variety of applications where the I/O requirements vary. This is common in telecom central office applications as there are hundreds of different I/O standards in use. AMC’s allow telecom carriers to stock fewer spare AdvancedTCA boards, reducing operating and training costs.

There are many popular mezzanine standards, but AMC’s are unique in several aspects. First, AMC’s are hot-swappable, meaning that an AMC may be removed while a system is in operation (a microswitch senses that a removal is underway to allow the operating software to manage the event). They typically have a faceplate and are accessible from the front of a system. Second, the full AdvancedTCA system management architecture and infrastructure extends onto the AMC module to support on-the fly replacement or upgrade. Third, several different sizes are defined, which provides the system designer the board real estate or front panel connector space needed for a particular application.

Standard data interconnects are supported, including Ethernet, PCI Express, Serial Rapid I/O, and Fibre Channel.

The small size, high performance, hot swap capability, and full management infrastructure has made AMC’s desirable for other applications, and the MicroTCA standard emerged not long after the AMC specifications were released. In a MicroTCA system, the AMC cards themselves plug directly into a backplane, allowing for small yet powerful and highly reliable systems to be built. MicroTCA is enjoying broad acceptance in a variety of mil/aero, data acquisition, and remote telecom applications. Ruggedized, conduction cooled AMC modules for demanding mil/aero and other similar applications are defined in the MicroTCA family of specifications

Short Form Specification

Key Benefits and Features

  • Hot swappable, fully managed architecture supports both simplex, and full duplex high availability system configurations
  • Single and double width modules are defined
  • Three possible height variations are defined: full-size, mid-size, and compact
  • Designed for use in both AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA systems
  • Hundreds of modules commercially available
  • Suitable for I/O and CPU functions, including DSP’s, FPGA’s, NPU’s and packet processors


Family of Specifications

AdvancedMC for Serial Rapid I/O
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description

AdvancedMC for Serial Rapid I/O

1.0 2009-07-09

Defines additional requirements for Serial Rapid I/O

AdvancedMC for Storage
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description

AdvancedMC for Storage

Rev 1.0 2005-08-05

Defined additional requirements for Fibre Channel

AdvancedMC for Ethernet
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description

AdvancedMC for Ethernet

Rev 1.0 2007-03-01

Defines additional requirements for Ethernet interconnects

AdvancedMC for PCI Express
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description

AdvancedMC for PCI Express

Rev 2.0 2008-10-08

Defines additional requirements for PCI Express interconnects

AdvancedMC® Mezzanine Module
PICMG# Name Current Revision Date Description

AdvancedMC® Mezzanine Module

Rev 2.0 2006-11-15

Defines all electrical, mechanical, and system management requirements for building AMC’s

Target Applications

  • I/O customization for AdvancedTCA blades providing system management, hot swap, and high availability function 
  • General purpose processor, I/O, storage, communications, packet processing, and high speed data acquisition functions for AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA systems 
  • High performance computing in a small form factor 
  • Used in telecom edge and remote applications, mil/aero/avionics, high speed data acquisition and pre-processing for High Energy Physics, security systems, special function networking, and automation 
  • Hardened versions (MicroTCA.1, MicroTCA.2, and MicroTCA.3) suitable for extreme environments, high temperature, and high shock and vibration environments where high performance, small size, and (optional) high availability capability required.

System Requirements

AdvancedMC modules are not intended to operate on a stand-alone basis. They require an interface that is typically found on AdvancedTCA CPU boards, AdvancedTCA Carrier boards, or any MicroTCA system.