Developing IEEE 802.3ap 10GBASE-KR compliant backplanes: Why does AdvancedTCA need bandwidth scalability?

Bandwidth scalability in an AdvancedTCA platform faces a number of hurdles.

1PICMG AdvancedTCA 3.0 has emerged as the industry’s Hardware Platform standard of choice and is enjoying first-phase deployment. However, many commentators believe that for AdvancedTCA to realize its market potential AdvancedTCA platforms need to seamlessly scale to accommodate 40 GbE fabrics, thereby avoiding forklift upgrades as system bandwidth demands increase over time. A 40 GbE switch fabric architecture would enable realization of a common platform for computing, storage, control, media and packet processing and provide the versatility and long term ROI required by service providers in today’s increasingly competitive environment. The challenge was to develop a family of AdvancedTCA products which feature PICMG 3.0 compliant dual star and full mesh advanced backplane switch fabrics enabled up to 10 Gbps per differential signal pair giving 40 Gbps per AdvancedTCA channel performance. This article describes the signal integrity challenges presented in designing an IEEE 802.3ap 10GBASE-KR-compliant, bandwidth-scalable 14-slot AdvancedTCA platform and how these challenges were overcome in development of full mesh and dual star backplane reference designs.

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