I mentioned in my last blog that the people behind ATCA have been looking towards the push for next generation technologies. In the case of I/O, this is being driven by new technologies, but the one I will focus on for this entry is power. ATCA is looking to expand into new market areas, while also meeting the increasing capacity demands of its current market space. To do this requires more performance on a simplistic level. And as we know, increased performance tends to require more power, which in turn generates more heat.
Which brings us to “shall” and “shall not.”
One of the most important instances where we reach this crossroads is when considering a change in ATCA specification in terms of power per blade. Initially, ATCA blades were limited to 200W of power, which of course implied that the chassis surrounding it can
cool a 200W blade.
However, the latest releases of ATCA-based blades no longer have this restriction. The specification that used to state that an ATCA blade shall be limited to 200W per slot has now changed to a shall not exceed 400W, although at different places within the specification. Obviously, this is an important difference. It allows the ATCA designer to use more powerful CPU solutions to meet that ever increasing curve of capacity requests and enables the ability to support more cores, more memory and more storage. In short, a single “shall” allows ATCA to expand in a much needed direction.