PICMG subcommittee to look at ruggedization - Embedded.com

PICMG subcommittee to look at ruggedization

LONDON — PICMG, the consortium of more than 450 companies that collaboratively develop open specifications for high performance telecommunications and industrial computing applications has formed a Rugged MicroTCA subcommittee to investigate and define enhancements to the MicroTCA and AdvancedMC definitions.

The enhancements will be used in the design of products to be used in markets where environmental requirements may be much harsher than the telecommunications market.

The Rugged MicroTCA subcommittee will also address advanced mezzanine cards, which are the building blocks of MicroTCA systems. Target markets for Rugged MicroTCA include commercial and military applications including airborne, shipboard, and ground mobile equipment and telco industry customer premise equipment and remote access such as roadside or pole mounted units without fans for cooling.

Other applications addressed by the enhancements will be for use with rotating machines, in transport industry including traffic control and for remote access security.

The committee expects its deliverables will be 'dot' specifications that layer on top of the base MTCA.0 specification and contain the environmental enhancements needed for a specific set of market applications. These are likely to include specifications for air cooling, conduction cooling and shock and vibration enhancements.

Mike Franco, president and CEO of Signal Stream Technologies (Madison, WI.) will chair of the subcommittee.

  • PICMG has also released a specification that defines an open mechanism for systems to upgrade the resident management software and firmware on the various components and subsystems.

    The PICMG HPM.1 specification was developed by the existing PICMG 3.0 subcommittee but released as a separate specification so it can also be applied immediately to other PICMG defined architectures, specifically Advanced Mezzanine Cards and MicroTCA systems.

    This specification is the first from PICMG to augment the hardware platform management (HPM) layer of all three architectures in a single document. PICMG specifications lead the industry in their support for advanced system management technology, which improves system reliability and availability and reduces maintenance costs.

    The Intelligent Platform Management Interface specification, which AdvancedTCA uses as the basis for its hardware platform management infrastructure, does not provide any generic mechanism for upgrading management controller firmware. This new specification defines an advanced architecture and corresponding interfaces so that a single upgrade agent can update the firmware in the many management controllers of an entire system, even if the modules in the system come from different vendors.

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