Electronics & Computers

Pigeon Point Systems Delivers New MMC Management System

March 30, 2010

The system uses SmartFusion's intelligent mixed signal FPGAs, which incorporate an FPGA, ARM microcontroller, and programmable analog.


MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pigeon Point Systems (PPS), an Actel company (NASDAQ:ACTL) , announced a new module management controller (MMC) board management reference (BMR) Starter Kit based on Actel's SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGAs. SmartFusion is the only device that integrates an FPGA, hard ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontroller subsystem (MSS) and programmable analog. The new kit addresses the MMCs on AdvancedMC (AMC) modules, which are used in both AdvancedTCA (ATCA) carriers and MicroTCA (µTCA) shelves, collectively referenced as xTCA.

Combining compliance, interoperability and responsive support from Pigeon Point Systems with the unique intelligent mixed-signal capabilities of the flash-based SmartFusion device accelerates customer design cycles and enables designers to concentrate on differentiating their AMC module products. Actel's commitment to the strong worldwide adoption of xTCA by telecom equipment manufacturers is reinforced by continuing to deliver such comprehensive solutions to its customers.

The newest solution from Pigeon Point Systems delivers a complete hardware plus firmware solution with solid documentation and support. Pigeon Point has built an extensive track record of success in hardware platform management applications with the most demanding telecommunications equipment manufacturers and their suppliers. Now with the new MMC BMR Starter Kit based on the SmartFusion chip, Pigeon Point Systems provides another strong solution to xTCA system designers.

Compared to other core silicon used for xTCA management controllers, SmartFusion extends valuable features for xTCA management controllers including:

  • Customizability due to the built-in flash FPGA, which can integrate board-specific logic into the SmartFusion chip, reducing footprint and cost; in addition, relevant selections from Actel's rich library of IP blocks can be installed in the FPGA fabric to augment the hard-logic peripherals as needed.
  • Higher processor performance with a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 core, which runs at 40 MHz in this context.
  • Advanced analog processing with zero load on the ARM processor to do xTCA-aware analog sensor monitoring; xTCA-oriented analog sensors and other analog sensors are configured and processed in a unified way in the programmable analog subsystem.

Included in the kit is a benchtop management controller development board that is implemented in an AMC form factor, which means that it can be inserted into any compliant AMC slot. In addition, the kit incorporates a complete SmartFusion FPGA design in a Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE) project, complete firmware including full source code in C for both the management controller code and development tools, comprehensive documentation and a production license that grants designers the rights needed to design and bring to market an AMC product. There are two kit variants available: one for customers who choose to work in an ATCA-focused bench top context and the other for companies who prefer to work in a µTCA-focused bench top context. No matter which context is chosen, customer AMCs are, by AMC specification design, compatible with either ATCA or µTCA carriers.

About Pigeon Point Systems
Pigeon Point Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Actel Corporation, delivers world-class management components for modular platforms based on the AdvancedTCA, AdvancedMC and MicroTCA architectures to leading companies worldwide. Pigeon Point's focus on providing dependable, proven solutions for the mandatory management controllers in these architectures allows customers to concentrate on the value-added aspects of their products. Deep expertise on these architectures ensures compliance and interoperability in the Pigeon Point components.

Pigeon Point, an executive member of PICMG, is a leader in its AdvancedTCA, AdvancedMC, and MicroTCA subcommittees and is active in many other technical subcommittees. Pigeon Point is also a contributing member of the Service Availability Forum and a leader in its HPI Working Group.

About Actel
Actel is the leader in low power FPGAs and mixed signal FPGAs, offering the most comprehensive portfolio of system and power management solutions. Power Matters.


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