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ATCA/AMC Management Controller Solutions for SmartFusion

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Pigeon Point Systems, LLC has announced the upcoming release of significant enhancements to its AdvancedTCA (ATCA) and AdvancedMC (AMC) management controller solutions based on the Microsemi SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGA. The new releases boost the performance and serviceability of LAN-attached management controllers that connect to an in-shelf LAN (such as the Ethernet-based ATCA Base Interface) to supplement the existing mandatory, but much slower Intelligent Platform Management Bus (IPMB) connection, which is based on I2C. The updated solutions cover IPM Controllers (IPMCs), Carrier IPMCs and Module Management Controllers (MMCs) for ATCA and AMC boards and modules. The updates will be released during Q1, 2013.

HPM.2, the LAN-attached IPM Controller specification, was adopted by PICMG in August, 2012 and standardizes how xTCA management controllers can attach to an in-shelf LAN.HPM.3, the DHCP-assigned Platform Management Parameters specification is nearly complete within PICMG and covers how the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) can be used, on an implementation-independent basis, to efficiently assign controller parameters such as network addresses. The new specifications standardize functionality that was already implemented in many xTCA ecosystem products. Now, ecosystem participants and customers can leverage interoperability among independent implementations of these specifications, which also add advanced features that were not previously available for LAN-attached management controllers.

Taking advantage of HPM.2, the new BMR releases can enable BMR-based management controllers to deliver the following benefits, all in an interoperable way with other independently implemented controllers: 1) get much faster firmware upgrades, boosting serviceability, 2) deliver traces of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) messaging in which they participate, and remote visibility for serial port traffic on a board, both aiding diagnostic efforts, 3) potentially provide high-speed access to large controller data items for both the Shelf Manager and a higher level System Manager, benefiting overall xTCA system performance. Taking advantage of HPM.3, those benefits can be achieved with standardized assignments of IP addresses, as well, potentially a substantial simplification in provisioning a large deployment.

These solutions come with full reference schematics, firmware source code and FPGA design, plus comprehensive documentation, a year of technical support and bench top hardware. The bench top Carrier IPMC can be tested directly with standard AMC modules, and the bench top MMC can be installed in standard AMC slots for additional testing flexibility. See article in this issue of RTC magazine: “Standardized LAN-Attached Management Controllers Yield xTCA Performance and Serviceability Gains.”

Pigeon Point Systems, Scotts Valley, CA. (831) 438-1565. [www.pigeonpoint.com].