The evolution never ends: PICMG's MicroTCA specifications

29th June 2022
Kiera Sowery

PICMG announces that the MicroTCA Working Group is working on the next generation of the MTCA architecture specifications initially launched in 2006.

Efforts target improvements for time sensitive and high bandwidth applications such as in high-energy physics. Current work includes accommodations for the next generation of CPUs and FPGAs that will natively support PCIe gen 5. Future applications in industry require this higher bandwidth i.e. for image processing, signal detection, data acquisition.

As current CPU speeds are limited by 80 W per slot power limit the support of more power for faster CPUs is on the task list as well. Future applications will also require other kinds of high- and low-speed fabrics paired with more flexibility in system design. The science market segment for high frame rate Megapixel detectors of the actual photon experiments requires even higher throughput. Thus, all these demands are scheduled to become part of the new releases of these successful specifications. With all these improvements MicroTCA continues to be an pro-active specification with significant updates to support high-bandwidth backplane interconnects. Latest update of the specs happened as recently as 2020.

"I am more than happy that the MicroTCA Working Group is so pro-actively addressing the recent demands. The new spec will find its way into many different vertical markets due to the flexibility of MicroTCA!”, said Heiko Koerte, VP and Director Sales & Marketing of N.A.T.

“Applications in industrial automation, medical, telecommunication and networking, aerospace and transportation will not only benefit form these new features but also from how easily MicroTCA can be adapted to the exact needs. More than 16.500 MCHs just from N.A.T and many more I/O and compute cards delivered to the field speak for themselves. The wide spread of MicroTCA definitely makes it both a technically and commercially attractive solution!”.

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