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New MicroTCA and AdvancedTCA Specifications Ratified by PICMG

By Carolyn J Dawson October 21, 2011

Two new specifications have been adopted and made available by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group or PICMG. These include the MicroTCA Enhancements for Rear I/O and Precision Timing or MircoTCA.4 specification, and PICMG 3.8 - AdvancedTCA Rear Transition Module Zone 3A specification. An announcement in this regard has been made by the top standards organizations for the communications, military and embedded computer industries, PICMG.

An additional rear I/O area for specialized AdvancedMC device is defined by the MicroTCA.4 specification. This specification also defines a corresponding rear transition module, MicroRTM. Extension of platform management has also been included in the MicroTCA.4 specification. The system can therefore accurately manage new resources. High speed timing resources used by synchronous data acquisition applications can be controlled and distributed with specialized interconnects which are also included in the specification.

A defined set of connectors for data and management for full size AdvancedTCA Rear Transition Modules or RTMs have been added in the new PICMG 3.8 specification. A power and system management connector has been defined by the specification. Power and cooling issues specific to AdvancedTCA RTMs are also addressed by this specification.

In a release, Joe Pavlat, President of PICMG, said, "Many of the changes introduced by both of these specifications are the result of PICMG's high energy physics efforts through direct engagement with researchers in this field. This will allow both the MicroTCA and the AdvancedTCA community to better serve these markets or other additional markets that need synchronized data acquisition or greater I/O needs."

AdvancedMC products can be integrated in passive backplane architecture with PICMG's MicroTCA specification. The specification was adopted in 2006. As compared to the classic AdvancedTCA architectures, MicroTCA systems are much smaller as AdvancedMC products are reused. A wide variety of telecommunication, military and research markets currently use MicroTCA systems.

In January 2003, the original AdvancedTCA specification was released. Creating a foundation for a set of common platforms has been the goal of the specification. The specification will now include a large selection of interchangeable modules from many companies. Top telecommunication equipment providers have adopted AdvancedTCA. The specification is also gaining momentum in military markets.


Carolyn John is a Contributor to IoTevolutionworld. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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