AdvancedMC products are computer boards that use the advanced mezzanine card (AMC) specification from the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PCIMG), a consortium of companies who develop open specifications for telecommunications and industrial computing applications. AdvancedMC products are hot-swappable so that technicians can replace mezzanine cards without powering down the entire system. Important specifications for AdvancedMC products include width, height, and number of channels. Single-width modules are 74 mm wide. Double-width modules are 149 mm wide. Carrier cards that use advanced technology attachment (ATA) or integrated drive electronics (IDE) can accommodate up to four single-width modules, but only two double-width modules. Half-height products are half the height of carrier cards that use advanced telecommunications computing architecture (AdvancedTCA®), a registered trademark of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group. Half-height modules can be stacked so that two AdvancedMC products fit one AdvancedTCA card. Full-height modules are the same height as AdvancedTCA carrier cards. Extended full-height AdvancedMC products are designed to accommodate the dual rows of small form factor pluggable (SFP) and RJ-45 connectors.

Types of AdvancedMC Products

There are many types of AdvancedMC products. Processor cards are computer boards that are used to host microprocessors and network processors. Memory cards host memory chips and storage cards save or store computer data. Graphic adapter cards are used to manage and control the graphics capabilities of computer monitors. Ethernet is a local area network (LAN) protocol that uses a bus or star typology and supports data transfer rates of up to 10 Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet (GigE), a faster protocol, supports transfer rates of 1 Gbps. 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE), the fastest type of Ethernet, supports transfer rates of 10 Gbps. Fibre Channel technology uses optical fibers to connect computer and peripheral devices that require high bandwidth. The most popular fibre channel standard is arbitrated loop (FC-AL), which can support full-duplex data transfer rates of 100 MBps. AdvancedMC products also include fabric switches, network switches that allow any input port to access any output port at the same speed. 

Selecting AdvancedMC Products

Selecting AdvancedMC products requires an analysis of interface and port types. Peripheral component interconnect (PCI) is designed for high-end computer systems. PCI extended (PCI-X) is an enhanced PCI bus that is backward compatible with existing PCI cards and features speeds up to 1 Gbps. PCI express (PCIe) fits many system architectures, provides greater speed and independence, and increases bandwidth and scalability. Serial advanced technology attachment (SATA, Serial ATA) is a serial interface standard that extends the integrated system architecture (ISA) bus of the IBM PC-AT to attach peripherals. Other serial interfaces include RS232, RS422, and RS485. Small computer systems interface (SCSI) is an intelligent I/O parallel peripheral bus with a standard, device-independent protocol that allows many peripheral devices to be connected to the SCSI port. InfiniBand® (IB), a registered trademark of the InfiniBand Trade Association, is a channel-based, point-to-point architecture that creates a centralized I/O fabric allowing for greater server performance, design density, reliability and performance scalability. 10 Gigabit small form factor (XFP) interfaces and gigabit interface converters (GBIC) are pluggable, hot-swappable interfaces used in GigE, 10GigE, and other fast networks.


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