Kontron Debuts ATCA Hub Board with Flexible Fabric Interface Module

8/22/2005 - Kontron Communications has introduced a new ATCA Hub, the AT8901. Thanks to its modular design, this high-performance switch is extremely flexible. In a first for this market, it also offers an option to implement the new Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) technology in convenient ATCA environments. To date, the new AT8901 is the only AdvancedTCA hub to ensure maximum design flexibility by including two innovative AdvancedMC slots. The AT8901 supports both base (PICMG 3.0) and fabric interfaces. Equipment manufacturers (TEMs) are using this Kontron hub to get a headstart in the development of new telecommunications applications.

Kontron’s AT8901 hub board is a modular, high-performance ATCA board; the fully featured version can serve both the base interface and the fabric interface in 14 or 16 slot ATCA housings. Layer 2 or layer 3 protocols are optionally supported with the highest possible throughput rates (non-blocking).

With the optional mezzanine module for fabric interface switching (PICMG 3.1), both dual-star and full-mesh designs are possible with Gigabit Ethernet traffic in full duplex mode.

In addition, there is a cost-optimized base interface only version (PICMG 3.0) for applications that only require the base interface for communication within the ATCA chassis, also optionally with 14 or 16 slots.

A market first, the AT8901 is also available with an ASI mezzanine module which offers the option of Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI) fabric interface switching.

This module concept once again emphasizes how easily the base board can be adapted to the requirements of a particular system. In future, for example, 10 GbE high-speed solutions will be very easy to implement, which makes the board particularly adaptable and future-proof. Flexible uplink options on the front panel and RTM round out the feature set.

AMC everywhere support
As with all of its AdvancedTCA platforms, Kontron provides the AT8901 with complete “AMC everywhere” support, which means the board is equipped with two AdvancedMC modules with front access. This allows the use of a broad range of AMC modules with a wide variety of functions, further increasing the capacity for upgrade and thus the flexibility of the AT8901. Since the hub board is the core interconnect of an ATCA chassis, the AT8901 board can also function as a carrier for other central system resources, such as a clock generator. It is also possible to operate a processor AMC, such as Kontron’s AM4001, in the second AdvancedMC slot. Depending on the overall requirements of the system, these “mini“ CPUs can even take control of the entire unit, and so save using an ATCA CPU board. The slot that is thus freed up can be used for other functions, such as application-specific payload blades. Other useful AMCs on the AT8901 are an HDD for mass storage, SETS (Synchronous Equipment Timing Source) for network synchronization in telecommunications applications, and dual 10GbE fabric inter-link, which allows for multi-shelf AdvancedTCA systems.

Management and protocols

  1. Supported protocols: Ethernet/Bridging protocols – including Link Aggregation (802.3ad), VLANs (802.1Q), Spanning Tree (802.1D, 802.1w), QoS (802.1p), Flow Control (802.3x), GVRP, GMRP – as well as the OSPFv2, RIPv2, VRRP, IGMP snooping, IPv4 forwarding, DiffServ, ARP, and ICMP.
  2. Management: the AT8901 hub offers comprehensive support for management via SNMP, TELNET, and CLI. And this either in-band or out-of-band via 10/100Base-T Ethernet or RS232. Furthermore, the hub board supports IPMI version 1.5 for ATCA-compliant management.

Shorter time-to-market
Kontron's ATCA and AMC technologies shorten the development time for applications because all the open, modular components are pre-integrated and fully interoperable, and fully support the relevant software (operating systems, protocols, management).

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