infoTECH Feature

September 15, 2008

Elma's New Ruggedized MicroTCA 19-inch Rackmount Enclosures

The Micro Telecommunications Computing Architecture, or MicroTCA (News - Alert) bus is based on the Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) standard. AMCs, also known as AdvancedMC, are printed circuit boards (PCBs) adhering to a PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group (PICMG (News - Alert)) specification with the official designation of AMC.x. AMCs were formulated for next-generation "carrier grade" communications equipment, particularly as a plug-in for carrier boards that are themselves plugged into AdvancedTCA (ATCA) chassis.
However, the AMC card can be made so powerful that the processing power alone is considered to be a valuable enough asset. The MicroTCA standard was therefore devised so that AMC cards could be plugged directly into a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS)-type backplane (“shelf”) without the need for an ATCA carrier board. On July 6, 2006 MicroTCA R1.0 was approved. AMC cards can communicate across the MicroTCA backplane via such electrical interfaces as PCI Express, Advanced Switching, Serial RapidIO (News - Alert), and Gigabit Ethernet. MicroTCA versions with just a few AMC card slots have been nicknamed NanoTCA and PicoTCA.
And now, Elma Electronic, a global manufacturer of electronic packaging products, has announced new ruggedized MicroTCA enclosures in a 19-inch rackmount format.
The new MicroTCA chassis features modified front panels that can be secured to the chassis, thus providing additional protection for shock and vibration. Shock absorbers/dampers can also be added to the enclosure for extra protection. Thermal management can be achieved via either convection or conduction-cooling.
Ruggedized MicroTCA Enclosure from Elma Electronic 
As with Elma’s recently released ATR (Air Transport Rack) version of Ruggedized MicroTCA chassis, the 19-inch rackmount enclosures are designed to meet MIL-STD-810F, 167, 461D, and 901D. Standard ruggedization techniques can be employed, including a shock isolated card cage and device mounting. Rugged chassis shells are incorporated using thick aluminum sheets, extrusions, and die-castings.
The MicroTCA backplane used has 6 AMC, 1 MCH, 1 PM (to 600 watt) slots. Optimized via signal integrity studies, the backplane supports PCI-Express, Serial Rapid I/O and 10GBase-BX4 Switching. It has direct SATA / SAS (News - Alert) connections and 3 synchronization clock networks. Other configurations are available.
Other chassis features include front-to-rear evacuative cooling, line filter, GND stud, shielded relay, IO panel, USB port, and fuse holder. The removable fan tray has 1x (120mm x 120mm) fan and 2x (40mm x 40mm) fans, and a finger guard.
The lead-time is 4-6 weeks.

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year — is going on this week (September 16-18, 2008) in Los Angeles, California! The show features three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Be sure to check out and blogs from Rich Tehrani, Greg Galitzine, and Tom Keating for news highlights from the show. See you there!

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC (News - Alert)’s IP Communications Group. To read more of Richard’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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