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LTE & EPC Drive ATCA
Simon Stanley | Analyst
The rapid rollout of LTE is driving demand for ATCA-based systems to support the EPC, IMS and many related applications.

Several vendors are also using ATCA to implement SDN and NFV, suggesting that ATCA will continue to play a crucial role in large telecom systems.
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COTS & ATCA: 2014 User Survey
The use of carrier-grade commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms for telecom systems continues to grow. These platforms include the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA), MicroTCA, blade servers and rack-mount servers. ATCA was developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, which has also developed the complementary Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) modules and the smaller MicroTCA platform. Blade servers are available from HP, IBM and other suppliers. Rack-mount servers are available from a range of companies.

ATCA provides telecom equipment providers with a carrier-grade platform on which they can quickly develop carrier-grade systems, significantly lowering development costs and dramatically reducing time to market for new systems. ATCA is becoming a mature platform with a well-developed ecosystem. Fourth-generation platforms with 40Gbit/s switching are quickly replacing 10Gbit/s platforms for many applications.

This survey goes beyond gauging the depth and breadth of technological developments by providing insights into how quickly these systems are being deployed and how many participants in the market will choose to employ third-party system integrators and software developers. The report also includes a breakdown of telecom applications for ATCA and MicroTCA, as well as the use of modules within these platforms and elsewhere. Respondents were also asked to rate system integrators and which suppliers they used for ATCA system integration, ATCA chassis, ATCA blades and AMC modules. The report includes several charts that compare results across up to five surveys spanning nine years from 2005 to 2014 providing valuable trend data.

The results of the survey covered in this report reflect key trends in the market for COTS platforms in telecom systems. ATCA continues to be the leading carrier-grade COTS platform, with more than a half saying their company was using ATCA and more than one quarter saying their company was using ATCA for all or most new systems. The trends reflect the growing maturity of ATCA and the growing competition from cost effective carrier-grade rack-mount servers. Many of these systems integrate technologies developed for ATCA and are being used by significantly more companies for smaller systems than two-slot ATCA platforms. Blade servers from HP, IBM and other suppliers continue to be used by a significant number of companies. MicroTCA is being used by just 15 percent, in line with previous surveys.

COTS & ATCA: 2014 User Survey analyzes the use of COTS platforms by telecom equipment manufacturers, with a focus on ATCA, based on the results of an exclusive worldwide survey of engineers, designers, product managers and sales/marketing personnel that work for telecom and networking system equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The responses to our survey make it clear that these platforms are now widely used in many types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (cci0614_toc.pdf)
The following excerpt shows the carrier-grade COTS platforms used by the companies covered in the survey. ATCA is used by approximately 50 percent of the industry. This result is consistent with the results of our previous ATCA surveys, published in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012. The market for carrier-grade rack-mount servers has grown significantly over the last two years, and the results show that carrier-grade rack-mount servers are used by approximately half of the companies covered in the survey. Carrier-grade rack-mount servers integrate several high availability technologies developed for ATCA and are a more cost effective alternative to 2-slot ATCA platforms where less flexibility is required.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies mentioned in this report include: Adax Inc.; Adlink Technology Inc. (Taiwan: 6166.TW); AdvancedIO Systems Inc.; Advantech Co. Ltd.; Artesyn Embedded Technologies Inc.; Asis-Pro Ltd. (TPE: 2395); Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT); CommAgility Ltd.; Creative Electronic Systems S.A. (CES); Comtel Electronics GmbH; Concurrent Technologies plc (London: CNC); Elma Electronic AG (Zürich: ELMN); Embedded Planet LLC; GE Intelligent Platforms (GE IP), a subsidiary of General Electric (NYSE: GE); HP (NYSE: HPQ); IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM); Interphase Corp. (Nasdaq: INPH); JumpGen Systems LLC; Kontron AG (Pink Sheets: KOTRF; FWB: KBC); Netzwerk- und Automatisierungs-Technologie GmbH (N.A.T.); Nutaq Inc.; One Stop Systems Inc. (OSS); Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL); Pixus Technologies Inc.; Prodrive B.V.; Radisys Corp. (Nasdaq: RSYS); SANBlaze Technology Inc.; Schroff, a brand of Pentair Inc. (NYSE: PNR); Scan Engineering Telecom (SET); Surf Communications Solutions Ltd.; Telco Systems Inc., part of BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (London: BVC); TEWS Technologies LLC; Unicom Engineering Inc., a division of Unicom Global; Vadatech Inc.; V Rose Microsystems Inc.; Xalyo Systems Inc.; and ZNYX Networks Inc.
Total pages: 18
FEBRUARY 2014
Switching Technology & Components for SDN
This report details and analyzes switch devices, embedded SDN software and innovative SDN switch systems identifying the key requirements and highlighting the advantages they hold for equipment manufacturers and service providers. The report also reviews vendor strategies and surveys component features, performance and flexibility in this important market.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
DECEMBER 2013
DPI Vendors Deliver on Policy Management & Analytics
This report details and analyzes leading DPI, policy management and analytics system vendors, DPI and multicore processor vendors, and DPI and policy management software vendors. The report profiles 20 vendors in this important market, including a review of component architectures, identifying the key features and highlighting the advantages they hold for equipment manufacturers.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
AUGUST 2013
100G Components User Survey: 2014 Market Outlook
This report analyzes the current and projected use of 100Gbit/s optical modules and PHY semiconductor components by equipment vendors. Our survey responses make it clear that these devices are critical components in many types of networking equipment, from long-haul to the access edge, data center and core of the network.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
ANALYST
Simon Stanley
Simon writes the Components Insider , covering the latest developments in telecom silicon and subsystems.
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Simon Stanley
CONTACT AUTHOR
ANALYST
Tim Kridel
Tim writes for both Mobile Networks Insider and Cable Industry Insider. He has previously covered the wireless and cable industries for a number of research firms, including Heavy Reading.
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Tim Kridel
CONTACT AUTHOR
CONTRIBUTING ANALYST
Simon Sherrington
Simon is an independent consultant who contributes regularly to Heavy Reading Insider. He has 13 years of experience analyzing, reporting, and consulting on technology market trends.
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Simon Sherrington
CONTACT AUTHOR
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