Hot swap mezzanine cards

Artesyn Communication Products is to demonstrate working prototypes of hot-swappable Advanced Mezzanine Cards this week at the Bus & Board Conference in Long Beach, CA.

Artesyn Communication Products is to demonstrate working prototypes of hot-swappable Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMCs) this week at the Bus & Board Conference in Long Beach, CA.

The demonstration will feature half-height and full-height (single and double wide) AMC cards plugged into an ATCA (AdvancedTCA) carrier card.

‘Hot swap is a compelling feature for AMC,’ said Michael Franco, hardware engineering manager at Artesyn and chair of several AMC working groups. ‘Backplane standards like CompactPCI and ATCA support hot swap at the carrier card level, but until now, there has been no hot swap support for mezzanine cards attached to the carrier card. AMC’s hot swappability reduces operating costs by enabling telcos to upgrade, provision, and service working systems in the field with a minimal disruption to overall system operation.’

Artesyn will demonstrate an ATCA ‘short carrier’ card at the conference. The short carrier provides sites for up to eight AMC cards, with about one third of the carrier reserved for other components. The carrier is equipped with a control plane processor, a 12-port ATCA fabric switch, and an IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) system management controller. The carrier also provides a 1-Gigabit Ethernet test channel, which runs from the ATCA backplane, through the fabric switch, and to a test circuit that resides on each AMC card.

AMC is a proposed PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group specification (PICMG AMC.0) for hot-swappable, field-replaceable mezzanine cards. Optimised for packet-based, high-availability telecom systems, AMC cards can be attached to a variety of ATCA and custom carrier cards.

AMC cards communicate with the carrier card via a packet-based serial interface, which features up to 21 lanes of high-speed I/O (12.5 Gbit/sec each). AMC supports a variety of protocols (including Ethernet, PCI Express, Rapid I/O, and InfiniBand) and features integrated I2C- and Ethernet-based system management.

AMC supports four module sizes: half-height single width, half-height double width, and a full-height version of both of these. The modules have escalating power limits starting at 20W for the smallest module (half height, single width) and increasing to 60W for the largest module (double wide, full height).