Micro Telecommunications Computing Architecture (MTCA)

Micro Telecommunications Computing Architecture (MTCA) is a modular, open standard for building high performance switched fabric computer systems in a small form factor. Because of its modularity and flexibility, MTCA is well-suited for industrial control and automation systems. MTCA defines fully redundant system configurations including power budgeting, hot-swap, complete component and system management that allows failure detection and isolation. This greatly improves system reliability and availability.

Supported by the BrightnESS project, ESS has selected the MTCA as a baseline very early and instead of starting proprietary development to satisfy unique ESS requirements, ESS got engaged in influencing the standards and configurations. So ESS is very active in the community and by involving the experts from the Integrated Control System (ICS), it has been possible to address several requirements on standards and 3-4 of these are already under implementation. As an example of an ESS driven change, a 100% increase of the power supply effect has meant a higher performance on data amounts and speed. The changes have already attracted other facilities and companies in the community and by the focus and approach of ESS, the technology and innovation are driven indirectly. The MTCA product palette is estimated that 80% of the requirements are fulfilled and effort can be concentrated on the remaining 20%.


  • The use and introduction to MTCA has been very successful and the standard solution covers more than 80% of the functional requirement.
  • For the specific ESS requirements a large effort is made to get these implemented as standard functionality.
  • ESS has played major role in standardization and promotion of MTCA by actively influencing the agenda and priority.
  • The MTCA technology is a proven industry standard and is not innovative as such, but the way ESS combine and use the MTCA is breaking limitations.
  • ESS is heavily involved in the MTCA community and has managed to represent the ESS requirements in a way so others are interested in their implementation.


  • ESS will support increased market availability of the MTCA with the ESS functionality in order to minimize unit price and risk.
  • China is expected to become a large volume player and this could have an impact on availability, price, functionality and sustainability.
  • The space sector shows interest which will make the user community larger and i.e. minimize risk for ESS.
  • As ESS is also involved in the EPICS 7 development where there is an interest for providing pre-integrated MTCA products from MTCA system vendors.

ESS will promote the MTCA principals to be used to standardise other similar environments, such as PLC installations.