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Most Powerful STANDARDIZED Embedded Computing Systems

Open Modular Multi-vendor HPC Architectures for Hi-end Blade Computers

MicroTCA (or μTCA) Overview

High Performance Modular Open Standard Computers Smaller than ATCA

MicroTCA uses AMC modules for the basic computing and I/O building blocks

Commercial and Military Ruggedized - Redundant & Non-redundant

Target Applications include:

  • Communication
  • Mil/Aero/Avionics
  • Industrial Control
  • Medical
  • Automation
  • Transportation
  • High-Energy & Nuclear Physics
  • Semiconductor Mfg Equipment
  • T & M • Telemetry

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.

Key Benefits and Features

  • Provides computer architecture consistent with Modular Open Systems Approach
    (MOSA) principles for reduced life cycle costs
  • Defines fully redundant and non-redundant system configurations including power
    budgeting and hot-swap
  • Defines complete component & system management that allow failure detection and isolation (enhanced hardware management)

System Requirements

A basic system consists of a backplane, enclosure, power supply, fabric switch board, management software, and one-to-many AMC processing and I/O modules. Full redundancy is supported with automatic switching in the event of individual module failure. MORE:

μRTM - Rear Transition Module for more Connectivity and Options

Chassis for Double AMC Cards can accommodate a μRTM offering unlimited options including custom

Commercial - 1U MicroTCA

12 Single AMC ’s or 6 Double AMC ’s

Commercial - 8U MicroTCA

Mix 24 Single & Double AMC ’s

Full redundancy - RTM ’s

ATR System

(Air Transport Rack)

Conduction Cooled AMC

Extreme Rugged

Military - 6U Ruggedized

MicroTCA System up to 12 AMC ’s

Full redundancy with dual MicroTCA Carrier Hub (MCH)

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