The AdvancedTCA Common Platform

One Set of Building Blocks - Multiple Applications

The AdvancedTCA Common Platform is the new platform designed for the communications network infrastructure that Operators and Telecommunication Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) or Networking Equipment Providers (NEPs) need to secure their competitive advantage and profitability over the next decade. As networks and applications converge and become packet based, AdvancedTCA (ATCA), the new open standard, appears to be the predominant choice to leverage cost savings and economies of scale, while securing competitiveness and time-to-market.

The Force Centellis/EndurX families of ATCA systems offer fully-integrated HA common platforms as an “application ready platform”, that can be optionally configured for Server applications (e.g. HLR, VLR, Media Server), C-Plane (e.g. Media Gateway Controler) or D-Plane applications (e.g. RNC, GGSN) in the converged network markets.

The HA Base Platform

The common denominator of the requirements for all these applications is a High Availability system architecture running a Carrier Grade operating system with redundant control CPUs and redundant switches. Such an HA base platform is provided by Force’s Centellis and EndurX CO 31KX products. They offer a Central Office capable chassis, extensive System Management functionalities, redundancy of all active components, ATCA processing blades (such as the Intel® Pentium® M processor-based ATCA-715/717 blades running Carrier Grade Linux) and Gigabit Ethernet ATCA-F300 base and fabric interface switches.

Based on the Centellis DS 31KX that was designed for early application deployment and introduced early last year, Force’s new Central Office capable Centellis CO 31KX features an ATCA framework to deliver “five nines” availability, a 13U/19” chassis with 14 vertical blade slots, front maintenance and rear access cabling, a fault-resilient design minimizing hardware-induced failures, Hot-Swap minimizing time-to-repair, a PICMG 3.0 compliant packet switched backplane as well as four Gigabit Ethernet switches on two blades for non-blocking switching. The AdvancedTCA architecture offers sufficient performance headroom for current and upcoming carrier requirements with a theoretical bandwidth of more than 3 TeraBit/sec.

Force ATCA Common Platform Concept

The ATCA-715/717 family of SBCs are the industry’s first AdvancedTCA form factor blades featuring the Intel® Pentium® M processor with Intel® E7501 chipset and Intel® 6300ESB I/O Controller Hub. It is particularly well suited for wireless and wireline infrastructure solutions designed for RNC, SGSN or Telco servers as well as for Central Office servers, and features the 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M processor that delivers robust, server-class performance for control- and data-plane processing and for supporting high-end communications. Featuring the Intel E7501 chipset with a memory bandwidth of 4.3 Gbytes/second it accommodates four PMC modules with telecom clocking synchronization for additional processing power and/or I/O. As an option, a version of the ATCA-715-the ATCA-717-is available with a managed 16-port Gigabit Ethernet switch that delivers the flexibility required for switching Gigabit Ethernet interfaces between the base board control processor, up to four PMC-based processing or I/O nodes and the AdvancedTCA Base and Fabric interfaces.

The ATCA-F300 is the first Gigabit Ethernet switch in the industry that has both a Base and Fabric interface for communications applications. Ii provides a 24-port managed Layer 2 switch with Gigabit Ethernet support for 14 payload slots, a Gigabit Ethernet interface for connecting to the Shelf Management Controller with IPMI support and a connection for a second ATCA-F300 for redundant network architectures. It also includes eight Gigabit Ethernet uplink interfaces for the Base Channel network hardware and one for the Fabric Channel via the rear transmission module, an SNMP agent for switch management and the option of adding a TDM clock generator module for synchronizing line cards and other shelves.

Both products, the ATCA-715/717 and ATCA-F300, are designed for PICMG 3.0 and 3.1 compliant systems and feature a single-slot 8U form factor.

>ATCA-717 Board

Centellis System

A Flexible Telco Server

The HA base platform can be turned into a server platform by adding scalable, modular storage capabilities through the Force ATCA-S100 storage blade combined with a Fibre Channel storage controller such as the Dual Intel® Xeon™ processor-based Intel® NetStructure™ MPCBL0001 High-Performance Processing Board. This scalable blade-based architecture provides cost-effective disk capacity expansion for state-of-the-art High Availability ATCA platforms. The ATCA-S100 offers up to 300GBytes hard-disk drive (HDD) storage capacity. Within a single slot, the ATCA storage module directly connects up to two Fibre Channel HDDs on the backplane and front panel. Together with interface redundancy, this allows for the support of a variety of architectures-depending on application needs-like RAID-0 and RAID-1. On-board user-configurable crossbar switches allow for the direct connection of Fibre Channel controllers as well as attachment of Fibre Channel switches. The ATCA-S100 is operating system independent and features hardware management capabilities through IPMC.

Data Plane Solutions

D-Plane platforms typically require communications I/O interfacing as well as network processing capabilities. These can be added to the HA base platform through e.g. PMC modules installed in any of the four PMC slots of the ATCA-717. In combination with an E1/T1 PMC interface card such as a Force PMC-8260, SS7 connectivity and protocol stack processing can be easily added to the HA Base Platform. Alternatively, a broad spectrum of interface cards is available in the PMC form factor from both, Force Computers and third party vendors. Through these it becomes possible to address nearly any I/O interfacing requirement in the Common Platform.

Force Computers’ AdvancedTCA Common Platform concept implements a single High Availability system architecture across all hardware and software layers based on open standard architectures. The concept incorporates the hardware and architecture standards created by the PICMG organization (www.picmg.org), the carrier grade extensions to the operating system specified by the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs-www.osdl.org) as well as the middleware interface specifications created by the SAF (Service Availability Forum-www.saforum.org). This enables typical equipment manufacturers to efficiently execute a wide variety of communications applications and Network Elements, whether they be server-type or control- and data-plane architectures in the Access and Edge Networks of the wireline and wireless infrastructure. By using this approach, cost savings and reduced total cost of ownership can be realized on multiple levels ranging from more efficient design, harmonized logistics, and less training to cost savings due to volume deployment and respective lower unit pricing effects.

Contact Information

Force Electronics, Inc.
6701 Katella Ave, Suite 200
Cypress, CA 90630
888.411.FORCE Telephone
714.220.1324 Fax