Background image


MTCA (also referred to as µTCA or MicroTCA) is a derivative of the well-known industrial standard ATCA.

For operation in an ATCA chassis, AMC payload boards must be mounted on carrier cards, then are inserted into the ATCA backplane. Beyond their carrier functions, these cards serve moreover as power supply and management/switching entities for the AMCs.

The basic idea of MTCA is now combining the extensive knowledge and practices developed with ATCA with the advantages of a smaller form factor.

Thus, an MTCA chassis provides a backplane, that directly accepts AMCs without the need for an additional carrier. Separate Power Modules, which can be set up in various redundant configurations, are now in charge for power supply. Management and switching of the entire MTAC system is performed by one or two (redundant) MCHs; the name MicroTCA Carrier Hub refers to its roots in the ATCA world.

Benefits of MTCA are hot-swappable devices, failure detections and isolation, redundancy, power budgeting, cooling management, and many more. The standard offers various options of high-speed communication, such as PCIe, GbE, XAUI, and SRIO.

Consequently, MTCA is both: a system and a board level standard covering all aspects i.e., form factors and topologies, systems and board management, Cooling Units, and Power Modules.

Originally designed to meet the demands of (tele-)communication, MTCA today is also deployed in medical area, energy, defense&aerospace, automation, industrial controls, transportation, test&measurement, and research.

ATCA, AMC, and MTCA are open standards specified by the PICMG.