PICMG Showcases Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture

6/13/2003 - PICMG® concluded its fourth successful AdvancedTCATM (Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture) interoperability workshop in Las Vegas, May 19-22, with a demonstration for an audience of members and invited guests of a wide range of products based on the AdvancedTCA specification. The series of workshops is aimed at testing multi-vendor interoperability of products compliant with the PICMG 3.0 AdvancedTCA base specification.

This latest interoperability event included three full days of extensive testing, building on the work of prior events. While AdvancedTCA system management and electronic keying were the focus of the tests, participants demonstrated dual star and full mesh backplanes, high speed network processors and general purpose processors, PMC and ProcessorPMC carriers, fabric switches, and fault management and failover. Bearer traffic over the main data fabric using both Ethernet and InfiniBand® protocols was also demonstrated.

The AdvancedTCA workshops provide an environment where specification issues can be discovered, explored, and interpreted through hands-on testing of systems built from multiple vendors' products. Participation is limited to those PICMG members with actual equipment to test. The workshops have been successful in identifying clarifying wording that will be incorporated in the next revision of the specification; however, no major inconsistencies or omissions have been found in the current version.

Fifteen PICMG member companies participated in the workshop and demonstrations, including Asis, Carlo Gavazzi Mupac , Diversified Technology, Elma Electronics, Inc., Force Computers , GNP, Intel®, Motorola Computer Group, NMS Communications, Schroff, Pigeon Point Systems, RadiSys, Rittal/Kaparel, Tracewell Systems Inc. and ZNYX Networks, Inc. Invited guests for the demo included representatives of telecom equipment manufacturers from around the globe.

"AdvancedTCA has the most sophisticated system management ever defined by PICMG, and we have successfully tested its functionality in these workshops," said Joe Pavlat of Cypress Point Research, PICMG's President. "The breadth and complexity of the equipment demonstrated in Las Vegas was especially impressive considering the specification was completed just five months ago. We are very close to critical mass of AdvancedTCA product suppliers, and the stage is now set for rapid adoption into next-generation telecom equipment."

The Las Vegas event also included a four-hour AdvancedTCA tutorial, which was attended by approximately 80 people. Lead presenter at the tutorial was Bell Labs Fellow Chuck Byers of Lucent Technology. The tutorial presentation is available to the public at www.advancedtca.org.

"The great turnout at the tutorial demonstrates the increasing level of interest in AdvancedTCA from potential users of the technology worldwide," said Byers. "The interoperability test sessions and demos provide ample evidence of the great progress we have made in implementing the specification over the past five months since it has been ratified. We saw lab demos of data being carried, video being transported, and phones ringing, all supported by AdvancedTCA equipment. I am optimistic that we will see field deployment of the technology soon."

The AdvancedTCA specifications for next-generation telecommunications equipment are aimed at further expanding the market for off-the-shelf, modular solutions for carrier grade communications equipment, a move that was begun by the highly successful CompactPCI? specifications (PICMG 2.x series). PICMG also expects to see interest in AdvancedTCA in other industries, such as data communications and military equipment.

Other specifications in the series cover the mapping of various high speed serial fabrics to the AdvancedTCA platform: PICMG 3.1 for Ethernet, PICMG 3.2 for InfiniBand, PICMG 3.3 for StarFabric and PICMG 3.4 for PCI ExpressTM. Additional specifications are in development.

Anyone with an interest in AdvancedTCA technology may subscribe to PICMG's AdvancedTCA reflector (or listserv) at no charge V instructions on joining the list are on the Web at http://www.picmg.org/newinitiative.stm#Reflector. Companies manufacturing products that comply with AdvancedTCA specifications, even non-members of PICMG, are invited to list them in PICMG's free online product directory, at http://www.picmg.org/picmg_cfmfiles/generalv3/search1.cfm?bus=AdvancedTCA.

Founded in 1994 as the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, PICMG is a consortium of over 600 companies that collaboratively develops open specifications for high performance telecommunications and industrial computing applications. The members of the consortium have a long history of developing leading edge products for these industries. For more information on AdvancedTCA or to view a short form version of the 3.0 specification, visit http://www.advancedtca.org/.

For information about PICMG membership, or to find out how to obtain PICMG specifications, visit the PICMG website at http://www.picmg.org or call PICMG headquarters at (781) 246-9318.

PICMG and CompactPCI are registered trademarks of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers' Group. AdvancedTCA is a trademark of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers' Group. InfiniBand is a registered trademark of the InfiniBand Trade Association. PCI Express is a trademark of the PCI SIG. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.

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