Artesyn Rolls Out Advanced Hot-swappable Pentium-based Mezzanine Cards

2/20/2004 - Artesyn Communication Products, a subsidiary of Artesyn Technologies (NASDAQ: ATSN), announced the industry's first Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC). The hot-swappable Pentium M-based AMC module, code-named the AM7501, gives telecom OEMs an easy way to add processing power to AdvancedTCA (Advanced Telecom Compute Architecture or ATCA) or proprietary systems equipped with AMC expansion bays.

Artesyn will demo the new board at the 3GSM show in Cannes, France from February 23-26 in Booth H26 at the Scottish Development International Pavilion (Hall 3).

AM7501 makes an ideal control plane processor for optical and wireless infrastructure. It is also ideal for augmenting packet processing and routing performance in voice gateways, and for enhancing protocol processing performance in SS7 and SIGTRAN signaling control points and gateways. AM7501 complies fully with the draft AMC specification, and will comply fully with the final AMC specification upon ratification.

"Artesyn has been at the forefront of the AMC standardization effort and is the first company to make AMC a reality," said Todd Wynia, vice president of marketing at Artesyn. "Our modules make it easy for telecom OEMs utilizing ATCA platforms to significantly boost control and packet processing performance for applications ranging from softswitches and signaling control points to base station controllers and voice gateways."

"AMC isn't the first mezzanine architecture to target the telecom industry," added Michael Franco, hardware engineering manager at Artesyn, and chair of several AMC working groups. "But it is the first to provide hot swappability and integrated system management, which enable individual AMC modules to be remotely monitored, controlled, and replaced in the field. This, along with AMC's high-bandwidth I/O interface, high-power handling capability, and versatile form factor, makes it ideal for building highly modular telecom systems that can be scaled, upgraded, serviced and provisioned with a high degree of granularity and minimal disruption to overall system operation."

The AM7501 is a single-wide, full-height AMC card that can be used with an ATCA or proprietary carrier card providing AMC bays. Optimized for embedded control, AM7501 features a 1.6-GHz Pentium M processor with a 400-MHz, 3.2-Gbyte/sec Front Side Bus, one Mbyte of Level 2 cache, and SIMD extensions for compute-intensive applications like multimedia and packet processing.

The AM7501 also features a server-class E7501 North Bridge, which gives the Pentium processor high-speed access to local ECC SDRAM (up to 2 GBytes). The North Bridge also connects to a 64-bit PCI-X bridge, which provides high-speed access to two Gigabit Ethernet channels, up to 128 Mbytes of flash memory, a USB interface, an I2C system management interface, and a front panel 10/100BaseT management interface.

The AM7501 communicates with ATCA carrier cards via its two Gigabit Ethernet channels, which are routed to the module's AMC connector. Also routed to the AMC connector is the module's I2C-based Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), which enables it to be monitored and controlled through the ATCA carrier card by remote shelf management controllers. The AM7501 also provides an optional on-board storage interface, which gives it access (through the AMC connector) to hard drives that may reside in other AMC bays on the ATCA carrier.

ATCA (Advanced Telecom Compute Architecture, or AdvancedTCA) is a standard (PICMG 3.0) platform specification defined by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group for a telecom shelf. The specification defines the mechanical and electrical interfaces for the ATCA card cage (shelf), as well as the ATCA cards (blades) that plug into that shelf. Key features include a high-bandwidth switched fabric interconnect, integrated system management, hot swappability, higher power handling capability (up to 200W per blade), a larger form factor (8U), and multi-protocol support (i.e., Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, StarFabic, PCI Express, and RapidIO).

AMC (AdvancedMC) is a proposed PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group specification (PICMG AMC.0) for hot-swappable, field-replaceable mezzanine cards. Optimized for packet-based, high-availability telecom systems, AMC cards can be attached to a variety of ATCA and proprietary carrier blades. AMCs communicate with the carrier card via a packet-based serial interface, which features up to 21 lanes of high-speed I/O (12.5 Gbit/sec each). AMC is slated to support a variety of protocols, including Ethernet, PCI Express, and Serial Rapid I/O. AMC also features integrated I2C- and Ethernet-based system management.

Operating system support for AM7501 includes Carrier Grade Linux. The AM7501 costs $1500 in OEM quantities and will be available as part of Artesyn's early customer involvement program in the second quarter of 2004.

About Artesyn Technologies, Inc.
Artesyn Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Boca Raton, FL., is a world leader in designing and manufacturing power conversion solutions for industry-leading OEMs in communications and IT infrastructure markets and is one of the foremost providers of controllers and WAN/protocol software for worldwide telecom and datacom systems and real-time communication applications. The Company has a global sales reach with design and manufacturing facilities in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Artesyn is a public company whose common stock is traded on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol ATSN. For more information about Artesyn Technologies and its products, please visit the Company's web site at

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