Mooring on

14 April 2009

ATCA single board computer for the 4G market.
ATCA single board computer for the 4G market.

SBC promises to double subscriber units per ATCA slot for telecom service providers.

The Promentum ATCA-4500, an AdvancedTCA (ATCA) single board computer (SBC) utilising the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series was unveiled by Radisys. The ATCA-4500 combines large memory capacity with expansion flexibility to address advanced control, gateway and telecom server functions for 4G applications including LTE (Long Term Evolution), WiMAX, NMS (Network Management Systems), and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). The ATCA-4500 represents seventh-generation RadiSys ATCA blade technology delivering on the promise of Moore’s law – doubling the number of transactions or subscriber units that Telecom Service Providers can handle per ATCA slot – thereby reducing cost per unit.

“We bring true innovation and system level thinking to every product we design and the Promentum ATCA-4500 encapsulates the best in single board computers,” said Anthony Ambrose, RadiSys Vice President and General Manager, Communications Networks. “As the market leader in Integrated ATCA System deployments, the ATCA-4500 complements our other market leading products using DSP, packet processing and switching technology in building the world’s best 10G ATCA platform.”

RadiSys’ ATCA-4500 has been optimised to meet Telecom Equipment Manufacturer (TEM) requirements for integrating into an existing ATCA chassis and for supporting multiple storage options and OS virtualisation. The ATCA-4500 features an innovative virtualisation solution that allows TEMs to streamline the complexities of their network element configurations and ease the porting of legacy application software and operating systems.

The ATCA-4500 enables TEMs to use higher performing silicon at the system level. A single Intel Xeon processor 5500 series will outperform the previous generation of Intel Xeon Processors 5400 series by up to 25% using a standard computing benchmark. The ATCA-4500 is based on single socket design technology and provides TEMs with higher performance while being packaged such that it is fully upgradable, safeguarding their investments in hardware by avoiding costly redesigns when new processing technology from Intel hits the market.

“Intel’s highest performing processor, the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, is designed to meet the performance and virtualisation requirements for the most demanding storage, security and communications infrastructure applications,” said Doug Davis, vice president and general manager, Embedded and Communication Group of Intel. “This enables the RadiSys Promentum ATCA-4500 to support both legacy and next generation applications on the same virtualised communications element without sacrificing performance.”

“TEMs must increasingly look to COTS and ATCA to provide the processing capacity to keep up with increasing network and application complexity,” said Lee Doyle, Vice President and General Manager, Network Infrastructure, IDC. “The ATCA-4500 is a cost effective solution to allow TEMs to increase the subscriber density per system.”

The ATCA-4500 offers more than a 50% increase in performance per watt per dollar over a dual socket Intel Xeon processor L5408 based ATCA blade. The processor and feature set were selected so it could pass the NEBS thermal requirements in chassis already deployed in the field, eliminating the need for a fork lift upgrade. Support for a massive 8 DIMM array of VLP DDR3 scales up to 64G of memory while providing cost effective options for applications with lower density memory requirements. The board offers multiple storage options, including RAID, SAS/SATA, solid state USB flash drives and supports iSCSI boot, allowing TEMs to achieve their storage requirements around performance, flexibility, reliability and cost. For low-level software, the ATCA-4500 is based on Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), which is an improvement over the old legacy BIOS firmware.

The EFI provides a pre-operating system shell where customers can build and execute EFI applications, such as setup, OS install, diagnostic or configuration utilities. Support for extended Intel Virtualisation Technology (VT-x and VT-d) on the board decreases the overhead associated with virtualisation, making it the ideal platform for use cases that require virtualisation. The ATCA-4500 has been tested against the guidelines offered by CP-TA to ensure interoperability across the ATCA ecosystem. The ATCA-4500 will be available as a building block or fully validated and integrated into the RadiSys family of platforms which include 2, 5, 14 and 16 slot systems. The board has been validated with third-party hardware including products from SANBlaze, Interphase and Astute Networks.

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