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Test and Development System

Wed, 02/27/2002 - 9:34am
Tracewell Systems announced a new variant of its patented T-Frame™ test and development system that provides the board access, convenience, and diagnostics of the original T-Frame, with the high performance of a CompactPCI Packet Switching Backplane (cPCI/PSB). The T-Frame concept features an open-frame design and the industry's most comprehensive set of chassis management and monitoring functions, enabling developers to access and monitor installed boards, without performance-robbing extender cards. Existing cPCI, VME, and VME64x T-Frames have proven to be ideal development tools for designers, manufacturers, and system integrators who need to reduce time to market for telecom/datacom, COTS, data acquisition, and related systems. The new T-Frame for cPCI/PS combines these same advantages with the latest switch fabric architecture, enabling the same rapid development of high-speed, scalable, Embedded System Area Network (ESAN) based systems.

The recent combination of CompactPCI with a Packet Switching Backplane has produced an architecture possessing the hot-swap capability and robust mechanical/electrical characteristics of cPCI, and an easily scalable, full duplex, Ethernet-based communication between system and peripheral cards. The resulting embedded network provides extremely high communication speeds within the system, as well as higher reliability through redundancy of interconnections and switching components. Use of a 10/100/1000baseT protocol provides single-pin connectivity with communication rates of up to 2 gigabits/second for each card, and a total system bandwidth approaching 40Gbps for a fully populated cPCI chassis. This level of performance is provided in the T-Frame by a new 8-slot, 64-bit packet switching backplane which provides 6 CompactPCI node slots (including the System slot) and two fabric slots. Drawing on Tracewell's extensive experience in LVDS and embedded Ethernet design for tele/datacom, this new backplane has been designed from the start for high speed and low latency in full compliance with the PICMG 2.16 standard.

T-Frame's open-frame chassis is a rugged yet easily portable product that stands up to the rigors of today's telecom, industrial and military applications. Comprehensive monitoring covers all backplane voltages, current and exhaust air temperature. In addition, the front panel interface displays fan speed and voltage control, including +5 and +3.3 volt margining. Single or dual 350 watt plug-in power supplies are available, allowing hot swap power simulation, N+1, or high power 700 watt operation. Power supplies may be installed either in front or rear card cages, further improving accessibility. High-pressure cooling fans are adjustable to full or half speed and automatically turn-off when not in use to reduce noise. The IEEE 1101.10/11 compliant cardcage is constructed of rigid steel using a high-strength design that eliminates the flex common in conventional extruded rail construction. This rear I/O cardcage is adjustable for a wide range of board depths. To make the developer's job even easier, the T-Frame has a tilt base, removable side access covers, recessed carrying handles and an internal 3.5 peripheral bay.

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