Pigeon Point Systems Delivers New MMC Management Solution Using Smartfusion Intelligent Mixed Signal FPGAs

29th March 2010
ES Admin
Pigeon Point Systems (PPS), an Actel company, today announced a new Module Management Controller (MMC) Board Management Reference (BMR) Starter Kit based on Actel's SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGAs. SmartFusion is the only device that integrates an FPGA, hard ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontroller subsystem (MSS) and programmable analogue. The new kit addresses the MMCs on AdvancedMC(TM) (AMC) modules, which are used in both AdvancedTCA® (ATCA) carriers and MicroTCA® (µTCA) shelves, collectively referenced as xTCA(TM).
Combining compliance, interoperability and responsive support from Pigeon Point Systems with the unique intelligent mixed-signal capabilities of the flash-based SmartFusion device accelerates customer design cycles and enables designers to concentrate on differentiating their AMC module products. Actel's commitment to the strong worldwide adoption of xTCA by telecom equipment manufacturers is reinforced by continuing to deliver such comprehensive solutions to its customers.

The newest solution from Pigeon Point Systems delivers a complete hardware plus firmware solution with solid documentation and support. Pigeon Point has built an extensive track record of success in hardware platform management applications with the most demanding telecommunications equipment manufacturers and their suppliers. Now with the new MMC BMR Starter Kit based on the SmartFusion chip, Pigeon Point Systems provides another strong solution to xTCA system designers.
Compared to other core silicon used for xTCA management controllers, SmartFusion extends valuable features for xTCA management controllers including:

· Customisability due to the built-in flash FPGA, which can integrate board-specific logic into the SmartFusion chip, reducing footprint and cost; in addition, relevant selections from Actel's rich library of IP blocks can be installed in the FPGA fabric to augment the hard-logic peripherals as needed.
· Higher processor performance with a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 core, which runs at 40 MHz in this context.
· Advanced analogue processing with zero load on the ARM processor to do xTCA-aware analogue sensor monitoring; xTCA-oriented analogue sensors and other analogue sensors are configured and processed in a unified way in the programmable analogue subsystem.

Included in the kit is a benchtop management controller development board that is implemented in an AMC form factor, which means that it can be inserted into any compliant AMC slot. In addition, the kit incorporates a complete SmartFusion FPGA design in a Libero® Integrated Design Environment (IDE) project, complete firmware including full source code in C for boththe management controller code and development tools, comprehensive documentation and a production license that grants designers the rights needed to design and bring to market an AMC product. There are two kit variants available: one for customers who choose to work in an ATCA-focused bench top context and the other for companies who prefer to work in a µTCA-focused bench top context. No matter which context is chosen, customer AMCs are, by AMC specification design, compatible with either ATCA or µTCA carriers.

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