Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) provides a compelling platform for many telecom applications, allowing telecom equipment providers to quickly develop carrier-grade solutions. By using ATCA, telecom equipment providers can significantly lower development costs and dramatically reduce time to market for new systems. ATCA was developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) that has also developed the complementary Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) modules and the smaller MicroTCA platform.
ATCA is becoming a mature platform with a well-developed ecosystem. There are now more than 150 suppliers of complete systems; central processing unit (CPU), networking input/output (I/O) and switch blades; other system components; and related operating system, middleware and application software. Fourth-generation platforms with 40Gbit/s switching are proving to be a hit with many equipment developers.
Our survey goes beyond gauging the depth and breadth of technological developments by providing insights into how quickly these systems will be 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 AMC modules within these platforms and elsewhere. Respondents were also asked which vendors they used for ATCA system integration and ATCA chassis and AMC modules. The report includes several charts that compare results across four surveys spanning seven years from 2005 to 2012 providing valuable trend data.
This report reveals some key dynamics in the ATCA market. Companies are making significantly greater use of COTS blades than in-house designs for CPU/server and storage blades. Switch, networking and other blades are split roughly 50:50 between COTS and in-house designs. Approximately one third of companies are using third-party software in place of in-house middleware, up from 19 percent in 2009; in contrast, only one quarter are using third-party system integrators. This is a significant reduction from previous surveys. Interest in MicroTCA remains significant with one third planning MicroTCA based systems however this is a significant reduction from the 2009 survey. AMCs are now widely available although there is a slight reduction in usage from previous surveys.
ATCA, AMCs & MicroTCA: 2012 User Survey analyzes the current and projected use of ATCA, AMCs and MicroTCA by telecom equipment manufacturers, 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 standard platforms are now widely used in many types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.