The use of carrier-grade commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms for telecom systems continues to grow. These platforms include the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA), MicroTCA, blade servers and rack-mount servers. ATCA was developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, which has also developed the complementary Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) modules and the smaller MicroTCA platform. Blade servers are available from HP, IBM and other suppliers. Rack-mount servers are available from a range of companies. This report analyses the use of COTS platforms by telecom equipment manufacturers, with a focus on ATCA, based on the results of an exclusive worldwide survey of engineers, designers, product managers and sales/marketing personnel that work for telecom and networking system equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The responses to our survey make it clear that these platforms are now widely used in many types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.
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