AdvancedTCA has arrived and the big dance is about to start

Who are TEMS going to show up with?

By Joe McDevitt, DTI Hardware Engineering Manager

Today’s market is composed of many segmented components defined by PICMG’s ATCA standards: from node boards and hub boards to shelf management and industrial chassis equipment. Each vendor will make their push to promote unique features and superior advantages of their ATCA products over the competitors. What criteria are key to delivering a cost-effective, highly reliable telecommunications / networking platform? How does one transition the legacy solution that today manages circuits and packets without creating service interruptions?

It is not unusual for the market to demand a product with high performance and low price that demand minimal development cost. Time-to-market also maintains a high priority with the TEMS to support their global communication requirements. The vendors who invest in the standards-based, board level AdvancedTCA products and roadmaps, plus take the risks associated with derivatives of standardized products, will have an advantage over their competitors. Potential surface risks include differentiation and individuality, as well as support of legacy-deployed telecommunication systems. As a standards-based fabric agnostic ecosystem, AdvancedTCA allows for a lower cost of market entry and more efficient inventory management. By relieving those issues, one can focus on higher value-added differential services while delivering cost-competitive products. ATCA, while a standard, will actually allow greater differentiation at a much faster pace; and hot-swappability together with management features will allow these benefits to be realized over the lifetime of a deployment.

DTI’s AdvancedTCA Dual Intel® Xeon™ processory-based Node Board

But what about legacy-deployed systems, you ask? Will a fabric-agnostic standardized system fit seamlessly into a legacy-based rack solution? These are the more difficult questions. Through increased performance and scalability in some specific applications, an AdvancedTCA system will replace entire rack-based solutions; but in the down turned Telco market, “Fork Lift” upgrades to rack-based solutions may not be possible. For example, if rack-based solutions provided TEMS with a JBOD, which is not fabric based, the business case for upgrading may not allow these items to be replaced. Therefore, an entire ATCA upgrade may be written off as unfeasible. Some initial shipments of AdvancedTCA products will likely co-exist where sole proprietary solutions were once utilized. Diversified Technology, Inc. can assist with rapid prototyping one of the derivatives of any standard ATCA architecture. Through the use of Zone 3 and rapid prototype ability, focused board providers are in a unique position to provide solutions where others cannot. With over 10 years of history providing complete solutions to the telco market, DTI embraces AdvancedTCA as its path towards increased product demand without constant redesign. There are already numerous DTI beta customers who are today benefiting from ATCA in their planning and upgrading of deployed systems.

AdvancedTCA is predicted to be one of the core pieces in the triumphant return of the telecommunications industry. ATCA boards, shelf, and chassis products will strive to gain market acceptance, and the vendors who respond to unique platform requirements that support market differentiators will assume a clear market leadership role in the long anticipated capital investment of the data, voice, and video networks.

Contact Information

Diversified Technology, Inc.
476 Highland Colony Parkway
Ridgeland, MS 39157
800.443.2667 Telephone
601.856.2888 Fax