Kontron Rolls Out 10-Gigabit Triumvirate AdvancedTCA Products

Kontron, a leading global provider of open modular solutions for the communications market, unveiled at NXTcomm its 10-Gigabit triumvirate AdvancedTCA product portfolio that enables telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) and network equipment providers (NEPs) to accelerate their IMS and IPTV-oriented application system designs. The three open modular platform elements consist of – the Kontron AT8030 AdvancedTCA processor node featuring three Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo CPUs and one AdvancedMC slot; the Kontron AT8904 AdvancedTCA 10 GbE Switch with two AdvancedMC slots, and the Kontron AT8404 AdvancedTCA 10 GbE Carrier with four AdvancedMC bays. All three are designed for Communications Platforms Trade Association (CP-TA) compliance.

Kontron 10-Gigabit Triumvirate AdvancedTCA ProductsTogether they reflect the evolutionary demand in the industry for 10-Gigabit Ethernet-based open modular systems that are appropriately scaleable and versatile to master the increasing traffic demands for IPTV-based media content and broadband media servers that deliver Video on Demand (VoD) over FFTx, DSL, or cableTV networks. Particularly with all the promise behind IPTV subscriber services, and TEMs and their carrier and MSO (Multiple Service Operators) clients need to overcome a number of network challenges to be able to deliver the range of exciting new services over IP, such as HD television, Video on Demand (VoD), screen-on-screen viewing, web surfing, and voice mail. To maintain the QoS for “TV-Quality” streams without dropping any frames while multiple applications are being transmitted and received simultaneously – based on MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and traditional VoIP packages – today’s multi-core network processing functions are the most critical in a IPTV system design with 10GbE or multiple 1xGbE streams in mind.

Equipment providers currently are designing new telecom systems that alleviate the various bandwidth and cost-related challenges of today’s proprietary network systems. In fact, they see the winning proposition of focusing more effort on their application software and relying on Kontron to provide the heavy-lifting of validating and building carrier-grade, application-ready systems based on AdvancedTCA, AdvancedMC and MicroTCA. With today’s 10-Gigabit switch fabric available for ATCA across the backplane, the supported bandwidth in a 14-slot ATCA Dual-Star system can be scaled to a total fabric capacity of 140 Gbit/s.

The bandwidth requirements of a triple play service offering range from 750 kbps for VoIP to actually 12 Mbps for HDTV, with a total required bandwidth being between 16 to 22Mbps, and with the average bandwidth between 8 to 10 Mbps. A 20 Mbps pipe to the home would enable multiple HDTV channels and enough bandwidth for 4 to 8 Mbps of Internet access and voice traffic.

However, as HDTV becomes the industry standard service, providers will have to increase their backbone capacities which translates into system upgrades.

“Kontron has the largest portfolio of Intel Core2 Duo processor based platforms for embedded and communications market segments. Our customers demand extended life cycles of 5-7 years as well as a competitive roadmap with improvement in performance at a manageable thermal envelope,” said Thomas Sparrvik, CEO and president of Kontron Americas and Asia Pacific. “The Kontron AT8030 AdvancedTCA Processor Board brings the performance of Intel’s multicore technology three times, fulfilling the needs of demanding applications such as in the emerging IPTV industry.”

A recent research analysis demonstrates that the number of households using IPTV worldwide will increase to more than 80 million in 2011, from just 6 million since the end from 2006. In the European market alone subscriber growth will be double in 2007 according to the media research company Screen Digest. This means that the subscription to IPTV based services in Europe will increase to 5.6 million subscribers in 2007 from 2.9 million in 2006.

“Intel and Kontron have a worked and collaborated in bringing the latest Intel technologies to the embedded and communications applications,” stated Joe Jensen, General Manger for the Embedded Market Division. “Kontron has embraced our multi-core embedded roadmap and now offers a wide portfolio of products based on the Intel Core2 Duo processor for the performance hungry communications, industrial and embedded markets.”

The average estimated product life cycle in the telecom industry is five years based on proprietary systems. To maintain the steady grow of bandwidth and network processing demand, TEMs need to re-think the product life cycle approach of new platforms. With the increase of processing capabilities and bandwidth capacities on a common COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) hardware architecture, TEMs and NEPs can adjust with scaleable systems designs faster, in order to respond to ever increasing market demands.

Today’s new board processor technology is scalable from 1GbE to 10GbE depending on the number of cores, while the AdvancedTCA specification supports these demanding infrastructures with the latest AMC.2 specification.

The current Kontron AdvancedTCA 10GbE portfolio has been designed to meet the support demands for more than 4GbE to the fabric interface within a 10GbE envelope.

Kontron 10 Gigabit ATCA Family

Kontron AT8030 AdvancedTCA Processor Board
The Kontron AT8030 sets a new industry precedent in the design of AdvancedTCA processor nodes with a board design of three Intel Core2 Duo Low Voltage dual-core processors that maintain an overall low power envelope of 140W. Each CPU core runs at 1.5 GHz and is paired with a dedicated set of DDR memory, up to 8GB for one CPU core, and up to 4GB for each of the remaining two core processors. Each CPU can be managed separately via IPMI and IPMC, and can run an OS independently. With the combination of the onboard GbE switch, multiple VLAN settings can be established with a capacity of 6GbE combined, and routed to one of two 10GbE ports of the fabric interface The node board also supports PCI Express x 4 to the Mid-Size AdvancedMC slot which provides space for added customization.. The Kontron AT8030 is accompanied by the RTM8030, a high performance rear transition module that incorporates onboard 1x SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) HDD with IPMI support.

The Kontron AT8030 is unique because it enables TEMs and NEPs who build IMS and IPTV-related equipment to run, for example, three different applications across the three independent Intel dual core processors. One dual core CPU could manage a live HDTV stream, the second a stored VoD stream, while the third could process data from a web server – and all this is accomplished on a single ATCA node board which occupies only one slot in the ATCA chassis.

Each CPU can be managed independently via IPMI, while other typical applications could employ each CPU in a diskless environment for Radio Network Controller applications.

Kontron AT8404 AdvancedTCA Carrier Board
As a PICMG 3.0/3.1-compliant AdvancedTCA carrier board, the Kontron AT8404 sets an industry precedent with four Mid-Size AMC slots that support a full range of AMC modules including – TDM interfaces (E1/T1, STM-1, OC3), NPUs, DSPs, Processor AMCs, and Storage AMCs. The Kontron AT8404 has redundant 10 GbE on the fabric interface, and meets the newly adopted AMC.0 rev 2, AMC.2 and AMC.3 PICMG specifications. This includes 5x 1 GbE to each AMC with L2 switching support and direct AMC interconnect for PCI-Express, SRIO, 10GbE or SAS/SATA.

The Kontron AT8404 is unique because its extensive AMC module support offers the highest possible flexibility of customized system configurations in order to achieve high-density network elements to drive the data, voice and video content for triple play services. With the support of more than 2x1GbE per AMC slot, this carrier board is the ideal candidate for 10GbE applications using a variety of network processor AMCs in an IPTV system design.

Kontron AT8904 AdvancedTCA Hub Board
To meet the high traffic demands of IPTV-based “on demand” media content, Kontron offers its AT8904 AdvancedTCA 10GbE hub loaded with switching features and provides exceptional flexibility with two AdvancedMC slots for added functionality. The two AMC slots can be used to host the following configurations – processor AMC modules as main controllers or for load balancing; storage AMC modules as mass storage devices for the Processor AMC; and Network Processing Units for UDP/NAT or load balancing processing AMCs in combination with storage AMCs. Thus, with these 2 AMC slots the hub blade’s functionality can be increased by using NPU-based AMCs supporting 10GbE for NAT functionality directly on the hub blade. In combination with a general purpose CPU-based AMC, all intelligence of the traffic management will reside on the hub including hot-swap capabilities which frees up bandwidth to the fabric interface to perform load balancing and network access translation. Everything resides on the hub blade and therefore maximizes the 10GbE fabric interface usage.

The Kontron AT8904 hub additionally enables redundant 10GbE interlinks between multiple AdvancedTCA chassis with the Kontron AM4310 Mid-Size 10 GbE Interlink AMC module, featuring 2 x 10GbE uplinks on the front panel via optical XFP connectors, which are routed to the XAUI ports (ports 4-7 and 8-11) on the AMC connectors.

The Kontron AT8904 is unique because its modular design enables seamless 1 GbE to 10 GbE migrations for customers who have already designed applications with previous generations of Kontron AdvancedTCA hubs. With the 2 AMC slots the switch blade functionality can be increased by using NPU-based AMCs, supporting 10GbE for NAT functionality directly on the switch blade. In combination with a general purpose CPU-based AMC, all intelligence of the traffic management will reside on the switch with hot-swap capabilities. No need to use up bandwidth to the fabric interface to do load balancing and network access translation. Everything resides on the switch blade and therefore it maximizes the 10GbE fabric interface usage. Moreover, the integrated design of two AdvancedMC slots dramatically increases the added value of the hub to encompass accompanying user applications, freeing up slots available for other valuable payload boards.

Product Pricing and Availability

Kontron AT8030 AdvancedTCA Processor Board – RoHS compliant
Pricing: OEM pricing upon request
Availability: Q4, 07

Kontron AT8404 AdvancedTCA Carrier Board – RoHS compliant
Pricing: OEM pricing upon request
Availability: Q4, 07

Kontron AT8904 AdvancedTCA Hub Board – RoHS compliant
Pricing: OEM pricing upon request
Availability: Q2, 07

About Kontron Open Modular Solutions
Kontron shortens the application design process by ensuring that each open modular building block is fully interoperable and designed to be both the right technology and the right architecture to suit specific development needs. Kontron pre-integrated open modular solutions offer best-in-class carrier-grade hardware platforms, combined with carrier-grade OS and middleware solutions. Kontron offers a diverse selection of AdvancedTCA processor, switch and carrier boards plus complementary field-replaceable AdvancedMC processor, storage, and I/O modules. Kontron also builds all of its AdvancedTCA platforms to be ‘AMC Everywhere’ enabled, offering support for AdvancedMC modules in its processor, switch and carrier products. This is a major factor in providing TEMs with unprecedented flexibility in the design of new applications, as well as to increase economies of scale by freeing up valuable AdvancedTCA system slots for other payload blades.

About Kontron
Kontron designs and manufactures standard-based and custom embedded and mobile rugged solutions for OEMs, systems integrators, and application providers in a variety of markets. Kontron engineering and manufacturing facilities, located throughout Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific, work together with streamlined global sales and support services to help customers reduce their time-to-market and gain a competitive advantage. Kontron’s diverse product portfolio includes: Computer-on-Modules, SBCs/blades, open-modular platforms and systems, HMIs, mobile rugged workstations, and custom capabilities. Kontron is a Premier member of the Intel(R) Communications Alliance and was awarded 2006 Intel Member of the Year. The company is a recent three-time VDC Platinum vendor for Embedded Computer Boards. Kontron is listed on the German TecDAX stock exchange under the symbol “KBC”.