PICMG tackles interoperability and backward compatibility

Beyond integration of 10Gb Ethernet, one of the primary goals of the PICMG 3.1 Revision 2.0 subcommittee was interoperability and backward compatibility with existing ATCA equipment. Additionally, they wanted to ensure a smooth forward migration path as it was understood that systems, backplanes, hub and node blades would upgrade somewhat independently over time based on individual customer and application needs.  Because of this, much of the early work focused on the overall management framework and how it handles enumeration of R1.0 vs. R2.0 components, interoperability and backward compatibility.  This management framework within PICMG 3.1 R2.0 has been largely stable within the PICMG drafts for quite some time.

In parallel, the subcommittee focused on the more challenging task of applying the IEEE-defined channel model to ATCA systems and their underlying boards and backplanes and, through extensive simulation, specifying requirements sufficient to enable interoperability without over engineering or driving unnecessary added cost into the system.

The PICMG subcommittee is just completing successful modeling and simulation and is in the process of parsing those results into measurable criteria and requirements for boards and backplanes.  The result of this extensive effort will be published in 2011 as PICMG 3.1 Revision 2.0 and will extend the success of Ethernet-based ATCA systems into the 40Gb era.

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