Advanced Mezzanine Cards
are printed circuit board
A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks or signal traces etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. It is also referred to as printed wiring board or etched wiring...
s (PCBs) that follow a specification of the PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group (PICMG)
The PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group is a consortium of over 227 companies. The group, founded in 1994, was originally formed to adapt PCI technology for use in high-performance telecommunications, military and industrial computing applications but its work has now grown to include...
, with more than 100 companies participating. Known as AdvancedMC, the official specification designation is AMC.x
(see below). AdvancedMC is targeted to requirements for the next generation of "carrier grade" communications equipment. This series of specifications are designed to work on any carrier card (primarily AdvancedTCA
Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture is the largest specification effort in the history of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group , with more than 100 companies participating. Known as AdvancedTCA, the official specification designation PICMG 3.x was ratified by the PICMG...
) but also to plug into a backplane directly as defined by MicroTCA specification.
- AMC.0 is the "base" or "core" specification. The AdvancedMC definition alone defines a protocol agnostic connector to connect to a carrier card. Intermediate revisions are known as engineering change notices, or ECNs.
- R1.0 adopted January 3, 2005
- ECN-001 adopted June 2006
- R2.0 adopted November 15, 2006
An AdvancedMC card can use proprietary LVDS-based signaling, or one of the following AMC specifications:
- AMC.1 PCI Express
PCI Express , officially abbreviated as PCIe, is a computer expansion card standard designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards...
(and PCI Express Advanced Switching) (ratified
Ratification is a principal's approval of an act of its agent where the agent lacked authority to legally bind the principal. The term applies to private contract law, international treaties, and constitutionals in federations such as the United States and Canada.- Private law :In contract law, the...
- AMC.2 Gigabit Ethernet
Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies for local area networks commercially introduced in 1980. Standardized in IEEE 802.3, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies....
XAUI is a standard for extending the XGMII between the MAC and PHY layer of 10 Gigabit Ethernet . XAUI is pronounced "zowie", a concatenation of the Roman numeral X, meaning ten, and the initials of "Attachment Unit Interface"...
- AMC.3 Storage (ratified)
- AMC.4 Serial RapidIO
The RapidIO architecture is a high-performance packet-switched, interconnect technology for interconnecting chips on a circuit board, and also circuit boards to each other using a backplane...
There are six types of AMC cards ("Module
") available. A Full-size
Module is the most common, allowing up to 23.25 mm high components
An electronic component is a basic electronic element and may be available in a discrete form having two or more electrical terminals . These are intended to be connected together, usually by soldering to a printed circuit board, in order to create an electronic circuit with a particular function...
(from centerline of PCB). A Mid-size
Module allows component heights maxed at 11.65 to 14.01 mm (depending on board location). A Compact
Module allows only 8.18 mm. A special carrier card known as hybrid
carrier is required to hold one Full-size Module or two Compact-size (see connectors below). Each height is paired with a width, single
, describing how many carrier slots the board fills. A double width card allows more component space, but does not provide any additional power or bandwidth because it only uses a single connector.
In electronics, a pinout is a cross-reference between the contacts, or pins, of an electrical connector or electronic component, and their functions.- Purpose :...
of the AMC connector
An electrical connector is an electro-mechanical device for joining electrical circuits as an interface using a mechanical assembly. The connection may be temporary, as for portable equipment, require a tool for assembly and removal, or serve as a permanent electrical joint between two wires or...
is fairly complex, with up to 170 traces. There are four different lengths the traces can be, which allows hot swapping
Hot swapping and hot plugging are terms used to describe the functions of replacing computer system components without shutting down the system...
by knowing in advance which traces will become active in which order upon insertion. To help reduce cost for mass production, a card may only require the traces on one side (pins 1 to 85). The possibility of using only half the pin locations, combined with various height combinations, results in four different connector types that are available on the carrier card:
|Connector Style||Pins||Mating Card Type
||One module that only needs pins 1-85
||One module card that uses all available pins (1-170)
||Two adjacent modules that each only need pins 1-85
||Two adjacent modules that use all available pins (1-170)
|Bay||Aperture||Connector||Compact Module||Mid-size Module||Full-size Module
|Compact Conventional Bay
|Mid-size Conventional Bay
||Convert face plate to mid-size
|Single Slot Cutaway Bay
||Convert face plate to full-size
||Convert face plate to full-size
|Dual Slot Cutaway Bay
||Slots A and B
||Convert face plate to full-size
The AdvancedMC card is considered powerful enough that there are situations where the processing functionality is the only requirement. The MicroTCA standard is targeted at supplying a COTS
In the United States, Commercially available Off-The-Shelf is a Federal Acquisition Regulation term defining a nondevelopmental item of supply that is both commercial and sold in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace, and that can be procured or utilized under government contract...
A chassis consists of an internal framework that supports a man-made object. It is analogous to an animal's skeleton. An example of a chassis is the underpart of a motor vehicle, consisting of the frame with the wheels and machinery.- Vehicles :In the case of vehicles, the term chassis means the...
that will allow AMC cards to function without any AdvancedTCA carrier card. The function of the ATCA carrier board and of the ATCA shelf manager are concentrated on one board, which is called the MicroTCA Carrier Hub (MCH). On July 6, 2006 MicroTCA R1.0 was approved. Since this approval, companies like Advantech, Kontron
Kontron AG is a German-based multinational company which designs and manufactures embedded computer modules, boards and systems.Kontron AG serves OEMs, system integrators and application providers of different market segments...
, and others, have launched AMC and MCH products.
Versions of MicroTCA with fewer AdvancedMC card slots are informally known as NanoTCA