Multi-Core Processors Support Significant Performance Improvement in AdvancedTCA Systems

A Case Study with GE Fanuc and Intel Corporation

Convergence Demands Performance
Development of the AdvancedTCA specification was a big step forward in enabling fast time-to-market with high value, carrier-grade, scalable, telecom platforms that require high bandwidth, strong reliability, and plenty of scalable CPU power. As the first telecom industry standard to specify both the blade and the chassis design, AdvancedTCA allows vendors to quickly introduce new features without enduring the "from scratch" development that plagued earlier generations of communications networks. What vendors still face today, however, is finding ways to increase the performance density of their AdvancedTCA designs in order to support converged services.

Multi-Core Technology Changes Performance Density
Intel recently launched multi-core processors that significantly increase the performance density of computing platforms. For example, a dual-core Intel® Xeon� processor LV 2.0 GHz provides nearly double the performance as the same 2.0 GHz single core version, without increasing the power consumption or changing the board footprint. What this means is that, with moderate design effort, developers can almost double the performance density of a system.

According to Lisa East, product marketing director for GE Fanuc Embedded Systems, �We have seen a significant performance- per-watt boost by integrating two of the new dual-core Intel® processors into the ATCA-7820 processor node board. GE Fanuc Embedded Systems can now deliver compelling processing capability supporting multiple application execution with up to four parallel threads in a single AdvancedTCA slot. True parallel execution, coupled with a very high bandwidth AMC site for additional processing capability, provides simultaneous computing power for infrastructure, application server, financial service and high-performance computing applications.�

After considering alternatives, GE Fanuc settled on the new Intel® processors because of the availability of reference design material, technical engineering support, BIOS and CPU emulation tools, and because Intel had pre-validated the CPU/chipset combination.

ATCA-7820 Solution Details
Based on a combination of two dual-core Intel® Xeon� processors LV 2.0 GHz, the Intel® E7520 memory controller hub and the Intel® 6300ESB I/O controller hub, the ATCA-7820 SBC occupies a single AdvancedTCA slot and supports multiple application execution with up to four parallel threads. With two expansion sites�one AMC.1 Type 8S and one PCI-X PMC�telecom equipment manu�facturers can take full advantage of I/O diversity and true parallel processing to deliver a variety of communications applications.

The dual-core processor provides a big boost in perfor�mance while the versatility of both the AMC and PCI-X expansion sites bring flexibility and future scalability to system designs. Because the ATCA-7820 is fully compli�ant with the PICMG 3.0/3.1 specifications, it can fit into a single AdvancedTCA-compliant chassis slot and be swapped out with new boards as needed. Service providers and manufacturers will likely find that the solu�tion-ready SBC allows them to bring out feature-rich, innovative services, like triple play, quickly and easily.

Conclusion
As demonstrated by the new GE Fanuc SBC, developers can get new features to market quickly by using new multi-core processors to deliver a big boost in the performance of their embedded designs without increasing power consumption or changing the footprint. It allows developers to quickly and cost-effectively scale their systems to provide converged communications solutions. To read the entire case study please visit: intel.com/design/embedded/casestudies/313478.htm