MicroTCA® is a modular, open standard for building high performance switched fabric computer systems in a small form factor. At its core are standard Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMC’s – described here: AdvancedMC) which provide processing and I/O functions. Hundreds of different AMC’s are commercially available. MicroTCA systems are both physically smaller and less expensive than AdvancedTCA systems, although their internal architectures are largely the same. MicroTCA was originally intended for smaller telecom systems at the edge of the network but has moved into many non-telecom applications, with standardized, ruggedized versions becoming popular in mobile, military, telemetry, data acquisition, and avionics applications. These versions are described below.
The core specification, MTCA.0, defines the basic system, including backplane, card cage, cooling, power, and management. A variety of different sized AMC modules are supported, allowing the system designer to use as much or as little computing and I/O as necessary. Subsidiary specifications (MTCA.1, MTCA.2, MTCA.3 and MTCA.4) define more ruggedized versions specifically suited for mil/aero and other demanding physical environments. These designs have been verified through thorough rigorous environmental testing and the test reports are available.
Because of its modularity and flexibility, the MicroTCA standards are well-suited for a wide range of applications, including industrial control and automation, test & measurement, mobile and fixed mil/aero, avionics, traffic control and transportation, and telecom.
Short Form Specification