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Hot-swapping in telecom systems

Posted: 20 Jan 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hot-swapping  controllers  high-availability systems 

This application note discusses the important role of optimal circuits for hot-swapping in high-availability systems. It uses a telecom system as an example of an ensemble of embedded microprocessor-based cards plugged into a mid- or backplane. Classified as "high-availability" systems, these systems are not supposed to be powered down for service or repair. The article defines the term "5-NINEs availability," which translates to almost zero downtime. This level of availability can only be achieved when the cards are serviced by hot swapping them in and out without powering down the entire system. The article then describes hot-swap circuits. It shows some patchwork approaches to hot-swapping and explains the deficiencies of these methods. The article concludes with a discussion of newer, more integrated hot-swap controllers that overcome the problems with prior designs.

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