Tracewell Systems, Comtel Deliver ATCA Test and Development System for Engineers

2/10/2003 - Tracewell Systems, Inc. in conjunction with backplane partner, Comtel GmbH, announces the T-Frame for AdvancedTCATM, the industry’s first test and development system for engineers designing ATCATM switch fabric boards and systems. Heading this development effort is ATCA veteran David Wright, whose background in the design and simulation of high speed interconnects, helped validate the layout and signal integrity aspects of the specification. The result is an 8-slot system providing all the functionality and control of a fully compliant AdvancedCTA shelf with the added benefit of open access to test points and in-circuit test devices. T-Frame for AdvancedTCA provides a rugged yet easily portable product that withstands the rigors of telecom development and test.

The T-Frame for AdvancedTCA is optimized for development of AdvancedTCA main boards and rear transition modules. Its open-frame design provides easy access to both front and rear boards for probes and debugging. The unit is 12U high and is mounted on a tilt stand for easier access to the cards, and is the most robust, user-friendly, and thermally effective stand on the market.

Cooling is provided by a 3U lower air chamber with six axial double-bladed fans and a 1U upper air chamber with six axial double bladed fans. Air enters the lower chamber from front, bottom, and rear, travels up past the boards, and is exhausted through the top of the rack. This high-performance push-pull cooling system provides proper cooling airflow even with the sides removed, and can handle full ATCA heat loads of up to 200 W per board.

Shelf Management Controller. The T-Frame for AdvancedTCA includes a shelf management controller (ShMC) to monitor, control, and assure proper operation of AdvancedTCA boards and the shelf. It watches over the basic health of the system, reports anomalies and takes corrective action where needed.

Backplane. The T-Frame for AdvancedTCA's backplane supports dual star switch fabric routing at data rates of 3.125 Gbps and higher. Update channel is routed between even/odd boards; base channel routing is provided from logical slots 1 and 2. The backplane is manufactured in low-loss FR4 for cost effective performance. Differential pairs are routed "centered" through ZD connectors pin fields, and the distance between pairs is at least 35 mm to minimize crosstalk.

Power distribution. The T-Frame for AdvancedTCA distributes 48 V A and B independently to all slots through four power studs, with separate studs for logic and shelf ground. Up to 1600 W of power consumption can be supported. An external mains-powered supply can be provided for laboratory use.

Price and Availability. Pricing for Tracewell’s T-Frame for AdvancedTCA starts at $7995 and the units are available six weeks ARO. For more information. To receive more information on Tracewell’s T-Frame for AdvancedTCA, or any Tracewell Systems product, please visit Tracewell on the web at

About Tracewell Systems
For more than 25 years, Tracewell Systems, Inc. has provided electronic packaging and integration solutions that enhance the performance of a wide range of VME, VXI, PXI, cPCI, and proprietary bus systems. Tracewell Systems provides levels 0 through 5 of system integration, and specializes in levels 3, 4, and 5. As a vertically integrated manufacturer with a full range of engineering disciplines, the company can supply complete level 5 system integration, ranging from concept design, software and manufacturing services, to system engineering, PC board assembly, metal fabrication, wiring and functional test. The company offers complete design and manufacture of system packaging, backplanes, power and monitoring systems, supplying everything from off-the-shelf standard products to fully customized and integrated rack systems. Tracewell works as a strategic partner with its customers, adding value through development of system solutions for telecommunications, test and measurement, medical, military and other demanding applications.

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