ATCA Switch on CPU

Today’s AdvancedTCA® Blades can easily contain up to a dozen Ethernet interconnects. These interconnects are split between the Base Interface, Fabric Interface, Update Channel, front panel, AMC Bays, and processor functional blocks. One challenge with new Blade designs is providing flexibility in the interconnect paths supported. Because Ethernet is a point to point interconnect, there needs to be an end point connection for each Ethernet interface. Current generation AdvancedTCA Blades use multiple Ethernet controllers to terminate the Ethernet connections with hard routes on a PCB or a FET based switch. In either approach, an Ethernet controller is required to terminate each Ethernet connection. The diagram below shows the typical interconnects found in a processor Blade. Note all of the Ethernet connections from the Fabric Interface, Base Interface, front panel Ethernet connector, and AMC Bay are terminated by Ethernet controllers connected to the CPU. With this type of interconnect the processor must receive and process every Ethernet packet; there is no easy way for a user that connects into the front panel Ethernet connector to access the other Ethernet ports on the board.

Typical AdvancedTCA Processor blade Ethernet interconnects

The Ethernet connectivity gets even more challenging when you add redundant interconnects to the Fabric Interface and Base Interface as well as additional AMC Bays. This is further compounded by the fact that many of the devices used in new designs require bandwidth above a single Gigabit Ethernet – often resulting in 2, 3 or 4 Ethernet connections to each device. A migration to 10 Gigabit Ethernet could provide some relief in the number of connections required but will not provide the flexibility required in today’s platforms. The number of Gigabit Ethernet connections in designs today can be as high as 20 as detailed in the chart below.

The inability to aggregate traffic or to allow dynamic configuration of the Ethernet connectivity is a major drawback in the existing AdvancedTCA Blade architectures. Next generation AdvancedTCA Blades can be designed with an Ethernet Switch like those found in an office to provide flexibility in the connectivity. The use of a true Ethernet switch allows for routing of traffic between any two end points, the aggregation of traffic, and traffic classification. In addition, the availability of 10 Gigabit and Gigabit connections allows for higher bandwidth between different devices. An architecture that contains an Ethernet switch provides the ultimate in performance and flexibility.

The aTCA-6900 from ADLINK Technologies is the first AdvancedTCA CPU Blade to include an Ethernet switch. The aTCA-6900, supports two Intel® dual-core processors, two AMC bays with a 20 port Ethernet switch to provide the interconnect paths. With Intel’s latest dual-core technology inside, the aTCA-6900 is designed to be an extremely powerful ATCA computing blade with a large memory space and advanced storage interface. With on-board AMC sites, the aTCA-6900 can be further scaled with DSP-based multimedia processing boards. The aTCA-6900 provides a very high capacity solution to significantly benefit IP multimedia subsystem and next generation network system integrators.

Contact Information

ADLINK Technology Inc.

5215 Hellyer Ave. #110
San Jose, CA, 95138

tele: 1.408.360.0200
toll-free: 1.866.4.ADLINK

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