Physics activities

The Physics community that developed ATCA 3.8 rear transition module (RTM) extension and MTCA.4 with µRTM is very close to issuing a set of new hardware extensions, called MTCA.4.1, which introduce an additional rear backplane to support both precision analog and digital functions. The backplane supports ancillary rear power modules that can deliver positive and negative analog power as well as standard power to µRTMs or full-height eRTMS (extended RTMs). The additional backplane, side space, and rear power facilitates the creation of a new family of applications, stimulated by the need for compact multi-GHz low-level RF systems for high-density superconducting accelerator applications.

The extension document describes the backplane itself as a generic design that is user-adaptable to special functions if needed in a new connector zone. The document also contains a special section defining classes of RTMs to promote interoperability between AMCs and µRTMs among vendors. The first completed systems are now operational in the injector section of the new XFEL accelerator at DESY; several other laboratories are also adopting the solution. Industry support of the critical support modules and infrastructure has been very positive. The new standard for MTCA.4.1 is in final editing phase and will be submitted to PICMG very shortly for general member review.

In addition, four software guidelines that have been under development for several years are now in final editing stages: Standard Device Model, Standard Hardware API, Standard Hot-Plug Procedure, and Standard Process Model. All of these except the Standard Process Model are active and moving into final editing mode and are expected to be completed in the next few months.

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