11 Myths About the MicroTCA Backplane-Based Architecture (.PDF Download)

Aug. 3, 2017
11 Myths About the MicroTCA Backplane-Based Architecture (.PDF Download)

1. MicroTCA is just a communications-based architecture.

The name MicroTCA can be misleading. Although TCA stands for Telecom Computing Architecture, most new applications are outside of telecom. They range from high-end industrial, military, and aerospace to lab/research and physics applications, among others. Some of the more interesting ones include an advanced money-counting system, NASA Space Ground Segment Sustainment project, naval towed array, mobile ground radar vehicle, fixed ground radar, and the x-ray free-electron (XFEL) laser. 

2. MicroTCA doesn’t have any competitive advantages over VPX.

Now that OpenVPX offers system management (which leverages the MicroTCA/AdvancedTCA Hardware Platform Management specification), some think the technology playing field is even. First let’s look at SWaP (size, weight and power), which is critical in many mil/aero, physics, radar, and other applications. MicroTCA can fit in a much more compact space, where it’s impossible for VPX to fit. 

With common horizontal-mount configurations, up to 12 advanced mezzanine cards (AMCs) can fit in a 1U chassis (with modules plugging in the front and rear). Figure 1 shows an example of a modular 1U horizontal-mount MicroTCA chassis offering a wide mix of MicroTCA carrier hub (MCH) and AMC sizes, and power-module options.


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