Choosing the smoothest road to 40G

This trio eases transition to 40 Gbps

To pace staggering traffic growth, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) are transitioning from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps. To avoid abrupt jumps that could harm cost effectiveness and slow time to market, TEMs are seeking approaches that are compatible with their existing hardware and software, flexible enough to accommodate the TEMs’ own differentiation alchemy, and able to support a full complement of software, hardware, and platform management functionality.

It is well known that data traffic on mobile and broadband infrastructure is rapidly outgrowing capacity. The convergence of telecom and IP networking, along with the persistent growth of bandwidth hungry services and applications, has driven the need for new standards, technologies and platforms. This trend prompted the development of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard, which supplies the bandwidth needed for delay sensitive applications such as voice and video streaming. These and many other innovative media-intensive applications will require significant increases in uplink and downlink data speeds on the order of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. This is an impressive increase from predecessors such as High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Peak Throughput of 3G and 4G Mobile Networks


Not only are throughput and bandwidth requirements increasing and creating new challenges for service providers, but data must also be secured, metered, and profiled to realize a high quality experience, especially in such next generation networks as LTE and Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON).

Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) with roadmaps based on the AdvancedTCA specification (PICMG 3.x), can deliver much greater network bandwidth by transitioning their platforms from 10 G to 40 G. Easing this transition process is the ability to reuse 10 G products, such as blades and software, in 40 G AdvancedTCA systems. Taking this transition into consideration during the design process maximizes leverage from what has already been done with 10 G assets and improves overall time to market.

Factors in successful transition

Three specific capabilities are key to an effective move to a 40 G AdvancedTCA system:

1.     Compatibility for comprehensive upgrades from 10 G to 40 G.

2.     Flexibility to add customers’ unique requirements.

3.     Improved platform and software manageability for enhanced functionality and faster time to market.


These capabilities must be inherent in 40 G AdvancedTCA systems in order to address a wide array of applications. Realizing these three key capabilities ensures improved performance, differentiation and faster time to market.


Maintaining forward and backward compatibility is important in easing the transition from current 10 G platforms to the new 40 G generation. AdvancedTCA platforms should offer compatibility as well as scalability, allowing TEMs to start their development with 10 G and later deploy with 40 G as needed (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: 40 G Deployment Phases

Also key is an integrated platform that incorporates the 40 G switch, packet processing, and software to meet the 40 G processing needs of network elements found in LTE and next-generation GPON.


TEMs need the flexibility of being able to easily include their own secret sauce for both hardware and software. For example, by leveraging RadiSys’ investment in AdvancedTCA, TEMs are able to build their own AdvancedTCA blades and incorporate them into the RadiSys platform. This allows them to leverage the AdvancedTCA time-to-market advantages while still maintaining their differentiation.

Improved platform and software manageability

RadiSys chose to not only continue making its ATCA 4.0 AdvancedTCA platform compliant with Service Availability Forum (SA Forum) standards, but also to extend some of its capabilities beyond standard shelf management. The decision took place in the context of quickening the pace at which customers go from platform selection to deployment, a process that for some RadiSys customers has taken just 12 months.

The decision to extend the shelf manager was made in the interest of shortening time to market. Features include switch redundancy, centralized diagnostics, and software upgrades coupled with pre-integrated middleware and system management.

Combining compatibility, flexibility, and improved platform and software manageability enables customers to accelerate their time to market and thus accelerate their ROI.

For more information on the transition from 10 G to 40 G, read the RadiSys whitepaperA Smooth Transition to 40 G.

Venkataraman Prasannan (VP) is the General Manager for ATCA Products Business at RadiSys Corp. He has over 22 years Telecom and Networking experience in marketing, product, and business management. He has been involved in AdvancedTCA product planning and customer engagements since the inception of the industry standard. He is a frequent speaker and author on computer/communications topics, including AdvancedTCA, AMC, and MicroTCA, for the Communications and Networking industry. He holds two patents as co-inventor. Prior to joining RadiSys, VP was with Tektronix where he was involved in various video networking and telecom test products for SONET/SDH, ISDN and DS1/DS3 products. He holds a masters degree in Business and Engineering and has prior experience as a software engineer working on real-time instrumentation.

RadiSys Corporation