The N.A.T. XLINK family makes it easy to connect a MicroTCA or AdvancedTCA (ATCA) system with PCI and CompactPCI (cPCI) form factor systems without any software modification to the MicroTCA/ATCA applications.

The NAMC-XLINK Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) provides access to the passive PC backplane (NPCI-XLINK) and/or the cPCI system (NcPCI-XLINK) via PCI Express IO Extension. The combination of different standards is ideal for projects requiring reduced engineering costs, shorter time-to-market and looking to take advantage of the synergies of established systems. You can benefit from the reliability and speed of MicroTCA, not sacrifice its hot swap and redundancy capabilities, but still use PCI and cPCI technology where appropriate to your application.

XLINK-Family Overview:
Overview and Purpose
The NAMC-XLINK is a high performance single width, full-size Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) compatible with any MicroTCA system and connects systems based on different standards such as MicroTCA, PCI and cPCI.

The MicroTCA system containing a processor card, such as NAMC-8569-CPU or NAMC-QorIQ-P40, and one or more XLINK cards, delivers the master functionality. The slave system is based on either PCI or cPCI standard and is controlled by the master system. The NAMC-XLINK connects the PCI Express (PCIe) backplane lane to a PCI Express External Cable Interface Connector on the front panel via a programmable re-driver circuitry for exchanging data streams.

Each NAMC-XLINK board in the MicroTCA rack will drive up to 4 slots in a passive PCI rack or up to 8 slots in a cPCI chassis up to 7 meters away, via cable, at speeds up to 2.5 Gb/s.

Functional Blocks

Re-Driver Circuitry

The NAMC-XLINK includes a re-driver circuitry to guarantee PCIe signal quality at the receiver portion of the PCI Express External Cable Interface.

The on-board Pericom PI2EQX4402D re-driver device allows users to adapt transmission characteristics to different cable lengths.
  • Port A of the PI2EQX4402D directs the PCIe line of the AMC backplane to the PCI Express Cable Interface Connector
  • Port C connects the PCIe line of the PCI Express Cable Interface Connector with the AMC backplane

IPMB Interface

The NAMC-XLINK implements an IPMB interface consisting of an AVR ATmega645 microcontroller and a temperature sensor. The IPMB controller also manages the hot swap functionality and the geographical address as requested by the AMC.0 specification.


The NAMC-XLINK is a member of the XLINK-Family which enables the connection of different system platforms via a PCI Express External Cable Interface to a MicroTCA system.