Heavy Reading

ATCA, AMC, & MicroTCA: The Next Generation

The Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) has become firmly established not only as the first standardized platform for high-availability applications, but also as the first platform to support the relatively large blades and power consumption required in many storage, computing, and telecom applications. Together with the smaller ATCA300 and MicroTCA platforms and the advanced mezzanine card (AMC), ATCA provides an unparalleled platform for a wide range of applications across all these industries. Equipment vendors are now using ATCA for control-plane applications in the wireless infrastructure market, and they have committed to its use across multiple markets, encompassing both the control and data planes.

The availability of ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA components and systems is now driving a major shift in the supply chain, with systems integrators taking on much of the development previously kept in-house by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). ATCA opens up new opportunities for silicon vendors, systems integrators, OEMs, and service providers alike. As with all paradigm shifts, there will be winners and losers – making this a key market to watch.

ATCA, AMC, & MicroTCA: The Next Generation provides an appraisal of the spectrum of vendors developing these components and systems. It includes not only granular information on the components and systems themselves – of interest to components suppliers, system OEMs, and service providers – but also insights into how the overall market is likely to develop – of interest to a wide audience, including investors.


The report provides key details on 250 different products from 56 different components vendors, systems integrators, and switch silicon manufacturers, encompassing the entire known universe of ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA components suppliers. Comparative product matrices provide more than 1,500 data points for products analyzed, covering 24 different product subcategories.

Click here for full list of vendors covered in this report.

ATCA, AMC, & MicroTCA: The Next Generation updates and expands on earlier ATCA research published by Heavy Reading in June 2005. The new report covers twice the number of products analyzed in the 2005 report and includes information and analysis for 19 additional manufacturers and integrators.

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The report includes a complete breakout and analysis of available and announced ATCA blades, including the following product types:

Switch Blade: A hub board supporting 12-16 base interfaces and optionally a similar number of fabric interfaces.
CPU/Server Blade: A node board primarily designed for processing. Most blades have one or two mezzanine slots to support processor, storage, or networking I/O expansion.
Storage Blade: A node board with RAID storage and no main processor.
Carrier Blade: A node board with four mezzanine slots without the full switch or networking features. Some of these also support processing, storage, and I/O functionality.
Networking Blade: A node board with networking I/O (GE, Gigabit FC, T1/E1, OC3, etc.). All of these blades have some form of network processing unit (NPU).
DSP Blade: A node board with integrated digital signal processor (DSP). All of these blades also have integrated NPUs.

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Report Scope and Structure

ATCA, AMC, & MicroTCA: The Next Generation is structured as follows:

Section I provides a detailed overview of the ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA product sectors, with complete report key findings.

Section II examines the dynamics of the ATCA market, including the equipment supply chain and the leading applications for ATCA-based systems.

Section III focuses on the development of ATCA, AMC and MicroTCA technology, including physical format, system management and application software, and operating systems. This section includes details on basic ATCA and MicroTCA systems available from 28 vendors.

Sections IV covers ATCA switching architectures and technology, including 10/100/1000 Ethernet and high-speed alternatives such as InfiniBand, Advanced Switching Interconnect, and RapidIO. This section includes analysis of announced ATCA switch blades from 12 vendors and switch silicon from a further 11 vendors.

Section V analyzes ATCA node blade functionality, including feature comparisons for current and announced CPU/server, storage, carrier, networking, and DSP blades from 23 vendors.

Section VI provides feature comparisons for announced AMC modules from 20 vendors.

Section VII presents detailed product and strategy analyses for 16 companies that manufacture ATCA systems, and in many cases ATCA components.

Section VIII presents detailed product and strategy analyses for 30 companies that manufacture ATCA components, but not systems.

The report is essential reading for a wide range of industry participants, including the following:

Telecom equipment manufacturers: How does your ATCA/MicroTCA deployment strategy match up to your competition? Which component and subsystem vendors are taking the lead in ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA product availability? Which products are available, and which are still vaporware? Are your suppliers stepping up to meet your anticipated timetable for ATCA and related products?
Component and subsystem manufacturers: Are you ahead of the curve in ATCA and MicroTCA deployment, or are you falling behind? Which product areas present the most attractive opportunities? How is demand for ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA likely to develop in the systems market?
Systems integrators: How do your partnership channels for ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA deployment measure up? Are there other potential partners that are capable of delivering products that you need now to meet your clients’ needs?
Network operators: How will ATCA’s continued development affect your supply-chain relationships? When can you expect to see meaningful cost reductions from the move to ATCA, and how big a cost benefit will you get? Which vendors will be in the best position to deliver the products you need to build your next-generation network?
Investors: Which equipment makers are in the best position to capture market share in this important telecom industry sector? When will this sector begin to show meaningful and sustainable growth?

ATCA, AMC, & MicroTCA: The Next Generation is published in PDF format.

PRICE: $3,795
Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading
Stanley tracks telecom components markets as an analyst and consultant. He is the author of numerous Light Reading reports on topics including 10-Gbit/s Ethernet transponders and PHY chips, switch fabric chipsets, traffic manager chips, network processors, and next-gen Sonet/SDH silicon...
Click here for full list of vendors
72 pages of product and strategy competitive analysis, covering 56 systems integrators, manufacturers of ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA systems and components, and switch silicon suppliers
Product and pricing data on 250 different products, including switches, CPUs, chassis, DSPs, blades, AMCs, and MicroTCA components
Complete, up-to-the-minute information on forthcoming products, including the latest probable release dates
PRICE: $3,795
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