P r o du c t B r i e f
Power Module Reference Design
Complete MicroTCA Power Module Reference
– System Management by Actel Fusion™ MixedSignal FPGA
– Compliant
Revision 1.0
– Ready to Plug In for Evaluation and Interoperability Testing
– Single-Card Design with Half-Brick DC/DC
Converter Demonstrates the Incredible Space
Saving of the Fusion-Based Power Module
– Includes Hardware Design, HDL, and Software
– Includes a Power Module EMMC Interface (IP
and software)
– Reduced Part Count with More Features and
Performance Than MCU-Based Systems
– Reference Design Greatly Reduces Time to
Market and Development Effort
– Includes
Redundancy and In-System Test and Firmware/
Software Upgrades via JTAG/JSM Interface
Less Than 50% of the Cost, Size, and Components
of Existing Power Modules Due to Superior
Analog and Digital Circuitry of Fusion Devices
Supports a Mix of Hardwired and MCU-Based
Functionality for Speedy Processing
Exceeds MicroTCA Specification for Power
In-System Reprogrammability Allows Customization
and Field Updates
Digitally Monitored and Configurable Voltage,
Current, and Temperature Thresholds with
Hardwired Fail-Safe Circuitry
Hot-Swap Compatible
Hardware and Software Support by Signal Stream
Assemblies, and Software
Figure 1 • Actel Power Module
October 2006
© 2006 Actel Corporation
See the Actel website for the latest version of the datasheet.
The Actel MicroTCA Power Module
General Description
Actel is enabling the MicroTCA market by providing
Fusion-powered reference designs. The Actel Fusion
Programmable System Chip (PSC) improves the design of
MicroTCA power modules by dramatically reducing part
count, board space, system cost, and power while
increasing reliability, flexibility, and system availability.
The Fusion device includes analog I/O, an analog-todigital converter, FPGA gates, large Flash memory,
clocking, and other features that enable it to reduce the
part count of the Actel Power Module (PM) reference
design by hundreds of parts over other FPGA- and MCUenabled power modules. The analog I/O, digital
processing of analog signals, and Flash memory enable
improved system monitoring and control so that system
reliability and availability increases. As an FPGA, Fusion is
the most flexible solution on the market, with in-system
reprogrammable microcode and FPGA logic gates.
Finally, Fusion improves performance with many
functions coprocessed in FPGA gates alongside the
Core8051 processor.
Actel has reduced the part count required for MicroTCA
power module designs in a unique reference design
platform that includes hardware, software, and FPGA
hardware description language (HDL)—a full solution.
Unlike component-driven ASSP designs, the Actel Fusion
FPGA enables integration of multiple functions, which
include voltage and temperature monitoring, a large
Flash memory for event logging, and nonvolatile FPGA
fabric for nearly instantaneous hot-swap and power
switchover. All of this functionality is delivered today
with an Actel Fusion chipset while reducing your bill-ofmaterials cost over ASSP-based power module systems.
Actel Fusion
Management Power
Power (3.3 V)
Up to 16
Power Monitor
Power Monitor
Up to 16
Slot Information
Front Panel
Figure 2 • Power Module Fusion Device Block Diagram
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and GPIO
The Actel Power Module reference design functions as
described in the MicroTCA Specification v1.0, Chapter 4,
and provides all of the power subsystem functionality,
including the following:
• Modular inputs
• Fusing
• Supply selection
• Emissions filtering
• Transient suppression and power conversion
• Payload and management power monitoring
• Power supply to the MicroTCA Carrier Hubs
(MCH), AMCs, and cooling unit
The power module reference design includes the
redundant Intelligent Platform Management Bus (IPMB-0)
and the optional JTAG interfaces.
The reference design also includes functionally verified
hardware, FPGA HDL, and third-party software support.
All elements of the design will be thoroughly tested
during MicroTCA interoperability testing.
For those who want to customize the design, Actel
provides the source and can enable a path for turn-key
modifications. Signal Stream Technologies has partnered
with Actel to offer design services for customizing both
hardware and software and will deliver timely
engineering support and maintenance services. The Actel
Protocol Design Services group can provide modifications
to the HDL. For modules in production volume, our
partner, MicroBlade™, Inc., offers complete turn-key
power modules to your exact specifications. In summary,
you can customize the design yourself or have Actel and
its partners perform customization.
The power module reference design is delivered as a
single-board design for the smallest form factor and
superior thermal capabilities.
Unlike MCU-based designs, which are software-driven
and slow, many functions, such as analog-to-digital
conversion sequencing and sampling, over-current and
under-voltage power switchover, and hot-swap disable,
are hardwired. Hardwired fail-safe logic minimizes
response time, if there is an unexpected board extraction
or system failure.
Since payload power current regulation is fully
implemented in hardware, the Actel power module is
more accurate than MCU-based designs. The current
limit for each output channel can be individually
programmed in 256 steps with ±1% full-scale accuracy.
Likewise, both payload power and management power
output voltages are measured with ±1% full-scale
The power module is also more flexible than anything on
the market today. A customer can update the FPGA
firmware and application software on-the-fly and can
customize hardware, firmware, or software. With a total
of 1 MByte of on-board Flash memory, software for the
on-chip Core8051 microcontroller can be reprogrammed
on-the-fly by uploading code to an isolated buffer in the
Flash memory, performing verification, and then
switching the context to the new software. Unlike an
ASSP-based solution, the Actel controller is an FPGA, so
even the "hardware" is reprogrammable, either on the
bench using standard FPGA programming tools or insystem via the MicroTCA backplane JTAG interface. A
customer can also add differentiation to the hardware
design, since Actel provides a full set of design
documents, including schematics, a bill-of-materials,
layout drawings, and manufacturing drawings.
A Power Module That Goes Beyond the
MicroTCA Standard
The Actel MicroTCA power module is a reference module
designed specifically to meet the power conversion,
power switching, and form factor requirements to
enable MicroTCA applications.
It supports a dual –48 VDC input and delivers more than
380 W to the MicroTCA backplane. With the
revolutionary form factor made available by the Actel
Fusion device, power output levels greater than 700 W
are easily possible in a single power module.
The monitoring and controller hardware supports input
power filtering, conditioning, fusing and monitoring,
output power control, monitoring and protection, and
DC-to-DC conversion for management and payload
power. The Intelligent Platform Management Interface
(IPMI) software is IPMI v2.0 compatible and will manage
the turn-on sequencing for local AMCs, voltage, and
current monitoring, handle abnormal power conditions,
and respond to commands and requests from an MCH via
the IPMB-0 interface. The module works with a single or
dual MCH or as a standalone device without an MCH
present in the system. It is compatible with the new
PICMG® MicroTCA.0 revision 1.0 standard.
The module can turn on each of the management and
payload power lines individually, as specified in the
MicroTCA specification. It also monitors temperature and
power status and reports this back to the MCH. In the
case of no MCH, the microcontroller on the module
notices that no MCH is present and can execute an onboard preprogrammed system management application.
If an AMC is inserted, the power for that slot is turned on
and if a module is extracted, the power for that slot is
turned off. System application software can be
downloaded to the board using the serial port (RS-232)
on the front of the module or by the JTAG interface. The
IPMB bus on the power module will also monitor
temperature and handle fan speed on the cooling
module, when that reference design is available.
IPMI Debug and Self-Test
This power module allows the user to record and insert
IPMI commands into any of the I2C busses in the system.
This feature is useful for development, debugging, and
testing of a system.
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Technical Specifications
Single-wide / full-height per AMC.0 revision 1.0
384 W with typical power dissipation under full
load of 28.3 W
93% total efficiency
Component part count
– Less than 400 total parts
– 65 stock-keeping units
Payload and management brick temperature
Inlet air temperature monitor
System Management
Single-cycle, 8-bit, Core8051 MCU in an Actel
Fusion FPGA
Fusion: 1,024 kilobytes of Flash, 216 kbits of RAM
Analog monitoring and A/D conversion
IPMI v2.0 for power module EMMC
Power Inputs
< 415 W
–36 to –72 VDC at 15 A maximum
Power inputs are transient protected and fused
Input voltage is monitored and event messages
are generated for alarm conditions
Power Outputs
Management power channel outputs
– ±25 mV resolution
– Over-voltage monitored with configurable
– Under-voltage monitored with configurable
– Backup trigger threshold voltage configurable
– Current limited to greater than 150 mA and
less than 225 mA
Standby management power output/input
– Output current greater than or equal to
350 mA
– Input current less than or equal to 225 mA
384 W output with a 1/2 brick
800 W output possible with two 1/4 bricks
Support for all MicroTCA specified redundancy
Supports total payload power output channel on
resistance as low as 3.4 mΩ
Payload power channel outputs
– ±50 mV resolution
– Over-voltage monitored with configurable
– Under-voltage monitored with configurable
– Backup trigger threshold voltage configurable
– Default current limit 7.6 A
– Programmable from 200 mA to 9.7 A in 50 mA
– Current threshold accuracy ±50 mA
– Immediate current limit engages in less than
60 µs for over-currents greater than 105% of
– Warnings for over-currents greater than 100%
and less than 105%
Conforms to PICMG MicroTCA specification v1.0 /
IPMI v2.0 (subject to verification)
RoHS compliant
Designed to meet or exceed (subject to
verification testing)
– Safety: UL 1950, UL94, CSA 22.2 No. 950, EN
60950, IEC 950
– EMI/EMC: EN 55022 / EN 55024, EN 50081-1 / EN
Front Panel
AMC latch with hot-swap switch
Blue hot-swap indicator LED
Green ready indicator LED
Red out-of-service indicator LED
Green/Amber (LED) indicating IPMI Tx/Rx message
USB diagnostic port
A and B power input connectors
Environment per PICMG MicroTCA.0 revision 1.0
Operating temperature:
– 5°C to 40°C long-term
– –5°C to 55°C for 96 hours
– Storage temperature: –40°C to 70°C
– Operating humidity: 5% to 95% relative
humidity (non-condensing and condensing)
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Dimensions: 186.7 × 73.2 × 30.5 mm
Weight: less than 300 g
IPMI Commands
Get PICMG Properties
MicroTCA Power Module EMMC
FRU Control
Get FRU LED Properties
IPM Device "Global" Commands
Get LED Color Capabilities
Get Device ID
Set FRU LED State
Get Self Test Results
Get FRU LED State
Broadcast "Get Device ID"
Set IPMB State
PEF and Alerting Commands
Get Device Locator Record ID
Get PEF Capabilities
Set Port State
Arm PEF Postpone Timer
FRU Control Capabilities
Set PEF Configuration Parameters
Get PEF Configuration Parameters
Set Last Processed Event ID
Get Last Processed Event ID
Sensor Device Commands
Set AMC Port State
Get AMC Port State
Get Device SDR Information
Power Channel Control
Get Device SDR
Get Power Channel Status
Reserve Device SDR Repository
PM Reset
Get Sensor Reading
Get PM Status
FRU Device Commands
Get FRU Inventory Area Information
Read FRU Data
Write FRU Data
PM Heartbeat
Reference Design Kit Contents
SDR Device Commands
Get SDR Repository Information
Reserve SDR Repository
Partial Add SDR
Clear SDR Repository
– Schematic
– Manufacturing files
IP platform (FPGA HDL)
– Object code: Netlist or obfuscated RTL
– Source code: RTL source
Application software
– Object code: compiled source code
– Source code: in C language
Get SDR Repository Time
Set SDR Repository Time
Exit SDR Repository Update Mode
SEL Device Commands
Ordering Information
Table 1 •
Ordering Codes
Get SEL Information
Part Number
Get SEL Entry
MicroTCA Power Module Reference Design
Add SEL Entry
With object code
With source code
Partial Add SEL Entry
Clear SEL
Get SEL Time
Set SEL Time
MicroTCA Power Module
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Standalone power module
Datasheet Categories
In order to provide the latest information to designers, some datasheets are published before data has been fully
characterized. Datasheets are designated as "Product Brief," "Advanced," and "Production." The definitions of these
categories are as follows:
Product Brief
The product brief is a summarized version of an advanced or production datasheet containing general product
information. This brief summarizes specific device and family information for unreleased products.
This datasheet version contains initial estimated information based on simulation, other products, devices, or speed
grades. This information can be used as estimates, but not for production.
Unmarked (production)
This datasheet version contains information that is considered to be final.
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