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Schroff ATCA systems utilised in Airspan HiperMAX

A Schroff product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Nov 11, 2008

Schroff has announced that its AdvancedTCA systems have helped reduce the development costs and time to market of the latest WiMAX base station from Airspan Networks.

Airspan offers a complete family of base stations and end-user premises equipment.

The HiperMAX base station offers both fixed and mobile WiMAX capabilities including a software-only upgrade for carriers who have already deployed the former solution.

During the early development phase of HiperMAX, Airspan decided that the flexible, modular architecture of a standardised AdvancedTCA (ATCA) chassis would provide economies of scale and ensure that the product reached the market as quickly as possible.

Schroff had previously supplied large quantities of its multipacPRO 19in chassis for one of Airspan's earlier base station models.

When Airspan enquired about possible ATCA systems, Schroff was able to offer a choice of fully assembled standard configurations consisting of subrack, guide rails, backplane, cooling units and power entry modules.

In line with the requirements of the PICMG 3.0 Rev 2.0 specification, these standard Schroff ATCA systems were all designed to accept rear I/O boards and therefore had a depth of around 400mm.

Paul Trubridge, vice-president of product management at Airspan, said: 'However, WiMAX base stations are often located in secure telecoms equipment rooms where space can be restricted and we actually had a customer requirement for a reduced depth with front access only.

Reducing the depth would help to minimise the base station's footprint, and having the back of the unit closed would mean that it could be installed without leaving space for rear access - for example, against a wall.

In the light of these requirements, Schroff's engineers set about modifying the design of the five-slot and 14-slot ATCA systems that Airspan had chosen for the two versions of its HiperMAX indoor carrier-grade base station.

Working closely with Airspan's development team, Schroff removed the rear I/O facility and transferred the power modules to the front of the units, thereby enabling the chassis depth to be reduced to the required depth.

The redesigned systems were then subjected to thorough EMC and thermal testing to ensure that they complied with the relevant international standards.

The five-slot HiperMAX base station typically has three baseband blades - one for each radio sector - while the 14-slot version can accommodate up to 12 baseband blades and includes the capability to deploy redundancy.

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