PICMG adds serial RapidIO to AdvancedTCA, defines mapping to ATCA


Release of the latest PICMG specification for high-speed interconnects over AdvancedTCA (ATCA) backplanes—PICMG 3.5 RapidIO for ATCA—improves a shortcoming of the prior specification. Previous PICMG 3.0 spec defines detailed characteristics of ATCA cards, chassis, backplanes, and the protocol for the base interconnect between cards (Ethernet); however, an add-in card is needed to notify the system manager which fabric it supports before interconnects are enabled onto the backplane, according to the PICMG organization. Serial RapidIO is the latest fabric to be mapped onto AdvancedTCA.

PICMG (founded in 1994 as the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) is a consortium of more than 400 companies that collaboratively develops open specifications for high-performance telecommunications and industrial computing applications. RapidIO interconnect architecture is an ISO-certified, open-standard said to seamlessly enable chip-to-chip, board-to-board, control, backplane, and data-plane interconnections needed in high-performance networking, communications, and embedded systems.

"Leveraging RapidIO standards onto AdvancedTCA via PICMG 3.5 will extend this open interconnect into the important box-level telecommunications platform. RapidIO technology provides an interconnect architecture that can homogenously span a complete platform: backplane, boards, mezzanines, and devices," says Dave Wickliff of Lucent Technologies, also chair of PICMG 3.5 subcommittee and chair of RapidIO Trade Association Steering Committee.

RapidIO standard is available for review and downloading from RapidIO Trade Association, along with detailed information on its products, design tools, member companies, and membership. PICMG 3.5 specification is available to PICMG members; non-members also can purchase it from PICMG.

Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering

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