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Real-time CGL supports Opteron-based ATCA blade

Dec 11, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

FSMLabs says its commercial, real-time Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) software now supports an Opteron-based AdvancedTCA blade from Pinnacle Data Systems (PDSi). “Carrier Grade RTLinux” on PDSi's AdvancedTCA blade targets VoIP, IPTV, and other applications in which data and control planes must coordinate tightly, according to… FSMLabs.

(Click for larger view of PDSi's AdvancedTCA blade)

PDSi's AdvancedTCA blade is based on a pair of 55-Watt, 200-series Opteron processors, with either single or dual cores, and supports up to 8GB of DDR1 memory (PC3200), via four DIMM slots. It comes standard with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0.

The blade was designed to comply with the PICMG's AdvancedTCA specification, according to the PDSi. For example, the blade dissipates a maximum of 200W, as mandated by the PICMG 3.0 spec. It also meets NEBS (network equipment building system) Level-3 criteria for central office (CO) equipment, meets ETSI installation criteria, and includes an IPMC (intelligent platform management controller) for use with IPMI v1.5-compliant central management software, PDSi says.

FSMLabs's Carrier Grade RTLinux (CGR) was the first distribution registered with the OSDL's Carrier Grade Linux 3.2 specification. FSMLabs says that CGR's ability to support real-time and non-real-time tasks on the same system makes it well-suited to “emerging convergence applications where data plane and management functions need to be tightly coordinated.” Such converged applications include VoIP (voice-over-IP), IPTV (Internet protocol TV), and phone network management, according to the company.

CGR is based on a real-time POSIX kernel called RTCore. The RTCore kernel runs a carrier-grade Linux distribution based on Fedora Core 4 as its idle task.

Furthermore, CGR's Linux instance can serve as a virtualization host for additional operating system instances, enabling the PDSi to support diverse enterprise software loads, FSMLabs says. Supported instances include Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Novell SUSE Linux, and Windows XP.

For real-time tasks, CGR is said to offer worst-case scheduling drift under 17 microseconds, when real-time tasks share a processor core with non-real-time carrier-grade Linux tasks on PDSi's AdvancedTCA blade.

CGR is also available with “processor reservation” technology, a kind of asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) that gives real-time tasks more exclusive processor access. On PDSi's AdvancedTCA blade, worst-case scheduling drift drops below 2 microseconds, FSMLabs claims.

FSMLabs CEO Victor Yodaiken stated, “Embedded systems today need to bridge seamlessly into the enterprise. The exceptional computing power and low latency of AMD Opteron processors allow us to respond to packets in nanoseconds while at the same time running applications on both Carrier Grade Linux and instances of Windows XP, Red Hat Enterprise, and Suse Linux.”


Carrier Grade RTLinux for the PDSi AdvancedTCA AMD Opteron processor-based board is available immediately direct from FSMLabs and from its global distribution partners. The product includes a “complete set of development tools, sophisticated networking and storage, comprehensive security, and telecom-specific capabilities,” according to the company.

More details about the PDSi AdvancedTCA blade can be found here.

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