New backplanes for AdvancedTCA

Paul Boughton

Elma has extended its product range for progressive ATCA applications to include a new basic system in proven 19-in technology (482.6 mm).

Depending on the area of application, it can be equipped with two next-generation backplanes: either in Dual-Dual-Star technology or as a point-to-point switching full mesh version for ultra-fast connection speeds. In accordance with the company's philosophy, all essential components have been optimised in simulations and tests.

Efficient, redundant fans in combination with a airflow guidance system ensure efficient cooling. Even high levels of emitted heat can be controlled with ease. The basic system being introduced is ready for immediate use. For users, this means that they simply have to insert their own cards, provide the supply, and start tests and applications straight away.

Backplanes for ATCA have to meet stringent requirements in terms of data transfer rate and signal integrity. This promising market segment is a welcome challenge for ELMA. The company's development and manufacturing prowess in the field of high-tech solutions were channelled directly into this new product.

The two backplanes ensure high-speed data exchange in the 12 HE systems. The Dual-Dual-Star model is of a monolithic design. Particularly short signal paths are produced by the four centrally located hub slots. Both the Power Entry Modules (PEMs) and the dual Shelf Managers are pluggable and can be easily exchanged if necessary.

The full mesh version features one backplane with 5 HE for data and a second with 2 HE for the supply. Both are connected via 48 V power rails. This positioning creates ‘free space’ between the backplanes, which - with a targeted direction of the airflow - supports the effective cooling process. The full mesh backplane also has pluggable PEMs and Shelf Managers in a dual construction.

The material used for the data backplanes has an µR of 3.8. This, combined with optimal design of the wiring, provides the basis for a slim-line board thickness of just 3.2 mm. As a result, Elma is able to minimise stub effects and ensure optimal signal integrity.

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