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Low-cost MicroTCA server runs Linux

Feb 28, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Emerson Network Power (ENP) announced a microTCA system said to cost half what existing microTCA products go for. The under-$5,000 Centellis 500 features a plastic case, runs Wind River Linux, and is described as a deployable, validated system for cost-constrained enterprise, medical, and industrial automation markets.

(Click for larger view of the Centellis 500)

The Centellis 500 is said to support tasks including IP-PBX, packet processing, VoIP gateways, networked Point of Sale (POS) systems, industrial automation systems, access routers, and WiMAX infrastructure equipment. Medical applications include remote radiology, patient monitoring, and “telemedicare”.

ENP credits the Centellis 500's injection molded plastic enclosure for helping to keep costs down. Along with Emerson's MCH-1010 MicroTCA Carrier Hub, the case houses an Intel Core 2 Duo processor PrAMC 7211 processor Advanced Mezzanine Card (AdvancedMC or AMC) equipped with 2GB of DRAM, 1GB of on-board flash, and a front-panel USB 2.0 connector. There's also a MicroTCA backplane said to support signaling rates up to 3.125 Gbaud/s, fans, a 48V power module, and three available AMC midsize expansion payload slots.

Centellis 500
(Click to enlarge)

The system offers dynamic cooling for low noise, says the company, as well as hot-swappable AMC modules. It ships with Emerson's SpiderWareM3 Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based platform management, monitoring, and maintenance software.

SpiderWareM3 GUI
(Click to enlarge)

In January, ENP announced it had completed its acquisition of Motorola's Embedded Communications Computing group, which sold Linux-compatible, carrier-grade AdvancedTCA (ATCA), MicroTCA, CompactPCI, and VMEbus products under the Centellis brand.

Stated Paul Virgo, director of MicroTCA marketing for ENP, “The Centellis 500 will introduce MicroTCA to new market segments and applications for the first time, allowing a broad range of new developers to focus on critical, differentiating features.”


The Centellis 500 will be available for under $5,000 apiece in the second quarter, said ENP, a business of Emerson. More information is available here.

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