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In late 2001, PICMG formed a committee to develop a new series of specifications aimed at the next generation of Telecom requirements. The 3.X series was renamed as Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (or ATCA) and an 8U Eurocard was chosen as the form factor of choice. The specification is geared towards the telco carrier grade market. Utilizing Dual Star, Dual Dual Star, and Mesh switched fabric topologies, the spec will be able to handle the massive bandwidth requirements, High Availability (99.999% uptime), and Quality of Service issues demanded by the industry.
The form factor uses an 8U x 280mm card size plugging into a backplane spaced at 1.2”. The larger cards allow more space for more components, while the wider spacing between slots allows for taller components. In addition, the backplane allows for 48VDC input from an external source to be distributed to the individual slot cards. The slot-to-slot bandwidth is approximately 7500 Mbytes/sec (assuming 2.5 Gbps per pair).