Enhancing Communications Platform value-add with MicroTCA

Version 1

    This paper looks at how MicroTCA can be cost-optimized to fit various communications platform solutions ranging from converged IP-PBX’s in enterprise networks to infrastructure elements in cellular networks. Often for competitive positioning reasons, many current solutions are based on purpose-built platforms of proprietary design. This often translates to trade-offs on scalability and redundancy in order to meet stringent cost targets.


    When system designers evaluate the feasibility of migrating their current proprietary designs to Commercial-of-the-Shelf (COTS) based solutions, they soon discover that architectural choice has significantly broadened. Typical architectures brought under scrutiny are AdvancedTCA, CompactPCI, MicroTCA, PICMG 1.3 and rack mount servers. This paper will provide some insight into the latter three and describe some of the key advantages and disadvantages of each.


    It will be seen that MicroTCA has gone a long way in improving system infrastructure costs and in particular how Advantech has cost-optimized MicroTCA solutions based solely on x86 hardware. As well as offering adequate levels of scalability, upgradeability and product longevity MicroTCA can be designed to hit the right cost points to stimulate short-term investment for longer-term customer benefit.