AdvancedTCA shows solid growth in 2012

2012 has been a solid year for AdvancedTCA (ATCA) blades and systems. VDC Research believes that 2012 will end up with an almost 20% growth in the ATCA blade market alone. Cellular build out around the world, particularly in developing nations such as China, and the jump to LTE in North America and Europe are driving this growth.  When you add in the acceleration of LTE deployments in 2013 to increase bandwidth that will satisfy increasingly video-hungry mobile devices and you understand why VDC is forecasting another 20% growth for ATCA next year.  While the lion’s share of ATCA blades are going to the Communications and Network Infrastructure market, VDC also sees growing adoption in the Military & Aerospace and Industrial Automation markets.

In 2012 there were 2 giant steps forward on the technology side of things. In August, PICMG announced the adoption and availability of the AdvancedTCA 3.1R2 specification which includes the 40-gigabit fabric interface definition, quadrupling the system bandwidth that can be achieved in ATCA systems. This translates into a data transfer capacity of up to 10 terabits per second for full mesh designs.  Put another way, ATCA systems can now handle the transporting and switching of over 2 million High Definition video channels simultaneously.

The 2nd major technology step in 2012 was the significant increase in performance due to the introduction of ATCA blades and systems based on the new Intel® Xeon® Processors E5-2600 and E5-2400 Series. The new processors include more cores (up to 8), increased memory bandwidth (4 DDR3-1600 memory controllers) and faster interprocessor communication (two 8GT/s QPI interfaces) enabling much greater performance. I/O bandwidth has also be boosted by the support for up to 40 PCI Express 3.0 lanes allowing ATCA systems to support dual 40GbE network connections and additional PCIe I/O for front panel and storage options.

Advantech was in the thick of this technology transition with the introduction of several new ATCA-based products such as the MIC-5333 Dual Socket CPU Blade with Intel® Xeon® E5 Series Processors, Dual-Dual 40G Fabric Interface and Acceleration. It enables the highest network and packet processing performance available in an ATCA form factor with up to 16 cores and 32 threads of processing power, scalable offload based on Intel QuickAssist technology and support for up to four 40G fabric ports. Fast PCI Express gen. 3 technology running at up to 8Gbps per lane and best in class virtualization support combined with superior thermal design make it ideal for high performance applications and workload consolidation on Intel architecture.

Advantech also introduced the Netarium™ series of ATCA 2-, 6- and 14-slot reference systems which are specifically targeted to help network equipment providers reach superior levels of performance over traditional rackmount servers or appliances. The series represents a new generation of systems which offer superior performance, scalability and flexibility with the latest 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40G) backplanes, switches and application blades. All Advantech Netarium™ systems are customizable to meet application-specific requirements using our Customized COTS (C2OTS) methodology. C2OTS uses a combination of off-the-shelf AdvancedMC (AMC) and our unique Fabric Mezzanine Module (FMM) technology to add processing, I/O and storage capabilities to any system.

More information about Advantech’s ATCA blade and Systems products can be found on our website.

As you can see, ATCA and Advantech are truly ready to handle the 40G and video-driven growth forecast for ATCA in 2013 and beyond.


Paul Stevens – Telecom Sector Marketing Director


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