Front Panels and Enclosures



1U=1.75" - From the Eurocard mechanical specification; Eurocard subracks have standardized sizes in all three dimensions. Height is specified by the unit 'U' (which stands for 'Unit'), with 1 U being 1.75 inches (44.5 mm). Width is specified by the unit 'HP' (which stands for 'Horizontal Pitch') or 'T' with 1 HP being 0.20 inches (5.08 MM).

6063 Aluminum

AA 6063 is an aluminium alloy, with magnesium and silicon as the alloying elements. The standard controlling its composition is maintained by The Aluminum Association. It has generally good mechanical properties and is heat treatable and weldable. It is similar to the British aluminium alloy HE9. 6063 is mostly used in extruded shapes for architecture, particularly window frames, door frames, and roofs. It is typically produced with very smooth surfaces fit for anodizing.

6005 Aluminum Alloy

Aluminum alloy 6005/6005A is a medium strength, heat treatable alloy with excellent corrosion resistance.

Alloy 6005/6005A has properties between those of alloys 6106 and 6082 and can sometimes be used interchangeably with these alloys but 6005/6005A has better extrusion characteristics. It has a better mill surface finish, but it is difficult to produce thin-wall complicated shapes in 6005/6005A. 6005/6005A tube has very good bending properties.


T5 temper 6063 has an ultimate tensile strength of at least 22,000 psi (152 MPa) in thicknesses up to 0.5-inch (13 mm), and 21,000 psi (145 MPa) from 0.5 to 1.0-inch (25 mm) thick, and yield strength of at least 16,000 psi (110 MPa) up to 0.5-inch (13 mm) and 15,000 psi (103 MPa) (from 0.5 to 1.0-inch (25 mm). It has elongation of 8%.

AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Cards)

Advanced Mezzanine Cards are printed circuit boards (PCBs) that follow a specification of the PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group (PICMG). KNown as AdvancedMC, the official specification designation is AMC.x . AdvancedMC is targeted to requirements for the next generation of "carrier grade" communications equipment. This series of specifications are designed to work on any carrier card (primarily AdvancedTCA) but also to plug into a backplane directly as defined by MicroTCA specification.

AMC Carrier

AdvancedMC Modules lie parallel to and are integrated onto the Carrier Board by plugging into an AdvancedMC Connector. Carrier Boards can range from passive boards with minimal “intelligence” to high performance single board computers. 

The AdvancedMC Module is designed to be Hot Swappable into an AdvancedMC Connector, seated parallel to the Carrier Board. The Carrier Front Panel provides one or more openings through which the Modules are inserted into AdvancedMC Bays. Struts and Module Card Guides located on the Carrier Board support the insertion of the Modules into the AdvancedMC Connectors. The combination of Front Panel aperture, Struts, Card Guides and AdvancedMC Connector make up an AdvancedMC Bays which provides all the necessary mechanical support, power and signal connectivity and EMI shielding needed to accommodate AdvancedMC Module.


Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture, a series of specifications by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group

CPCI - CompactPCI

CompactPCI (cPCI) system is a 3U or 6U Eurocard-based industrial computer[1], where all boards are connected via a passive PCI backplane. The connector pin assignments are standardized by the PICMG US and PICMG Europe organizations. PICMG stands for PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group. The connectors and the electrical rules allow for 8 boards in a PCI segment. Multiple segments are allowed with bridges.


Electronic Industries Alliance

The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA, until 1997 Electronic Industries Association) is a trade organization composed as an alliance of trade associations for electronics manufacturers in the United States. Those associations in turn govern sectors of EIA standards activity.The associations include:

  • Formerly CEA – The Consumer Electronics Association
    (As of January 1, 2005 CEA withdrew from its sector affiliation with EIA)
  • ECA – The Electronic Components, Assemblies, and Materials Association
  • GEIA – The Government Electronics and Information Technology Association
  • JEDEC – The JEDEC Solid State Technology division, formerly Joint Electron Devices Engineering Councils
  • TIA – The Telecommunications Industry Association

EIA is accredited by ANSI to help develop standards on electronic components, consumer electronics, electronic information, telecommunications, and Internet security. The recommended standards (formerly designated as RS-#, currently EIA-#) are designed so that manufacturer's equipment can be interchanged and compatible.

FMC – FPGA Mezzanine Card

Recently, there has emerged a greater need for different front panel IO functionality within systems. Typically, this front panel IO functionality was fixed on 3U or 6U form factor cards, or it was configured with PMC or XMC modules. Previously, 3U and 6U form factor card design used a fixed front panel IO, which addressed a particular function. Changing the front panel IO functionality meant replacing the 3U or 6U cards. PMC and XMC modules provided configurable front panel IO for 3U and 6U form factor cards. However, PMC and XMC modules use much of the 3U and 6U carrier card area.

FPGA Mezzanine Card, or FMC, as defined in VITA 57, provides a specification describing an I/O mezzanine module with connection to an FPGA or other device with reconfigurable I/O capability. The low profile design allows use on popular industry standard slot card, blade and motherboard form factors, including VME, VPX, CompactPCI, AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA, PCI, PXI, and many other low profile motherboards. The compact size is highly adaptable to many configuration needs and compliments existing common low profile mezzanine technology such as PMC, XMC, and AMC.

Front Panel

The official definition of a front panel is: "Any type of metal or plastic plate designed to fit over a device or computer component to enhance the device's functionality or its looks. As it relates to circuit boards, the terms front panel and front panel are often used interchangeably. They are typically metal panel which enable a board to be attached/installed in a chassis, and to facilitate attachment of cabling/connectors. The metal plate also protects the board from environmental factors and tampering.


Horizontal Pitch Units -' 1HP = .2"


IEEE Std 1101.1 – 1998 IEEE Standard for Mechanical Core Specifications for Microcomputers Using IEC 60603-2 Connectors. The basic dimensions of a range of modular subracks conforming to 60297-3 (1984-01) and 60297-4 (1995-03) for mounting in equipment according to 60297-1 (1986-09) and 310-D-1992, together with the basic dimensions of a compatible range of plug-in units, printed boards, and backplanes, are covered. The dimensions and tolerances necessary to ensure mechanical function compatibility are provided. This standard offers total system integration guidelines with attendant advantages, such as reduction in design and development time, manufacturing cost savings, and distinct marketing advantages.


IEEE Std 1101.10 – 1996 IEEE Standard for Additional Mechanical Specifications for Microcomputers Using the IEEE Std 1101.1-1991 Equipment Practice. A generic standard that may be applied in all fields of electronics where equipment and installations are required to conform to the 482.6 mm (19 in) equipment practice based on IEEE 1101.1-1991, IEC 297-3 (1984), and IEC 297-4 (1995). Dimensions are provided that will ensure mechanical interchangeability of subracks and plug-in units.

IP ratings

IP ratings – please visit our IP rating explanations page for details.

Mill Finish

"Mill Finish" is the natural appearance of the aluminum as it comes from the rolling mill (Alcoa, Reynolds, Kaiser, or Alcan) or the extrusion mill. It is "as is" with no external mechanical or chemical finishing. Extruded metal is considered "mill finish."


PICMG is a consortium of companies who collaboratively develop open specifications for high performance telecommunications and industrial computing applications. The members of the consortium have a long history of developing leading edge products for these industries.


Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture[1] (ATCA or AdvancedTCA) is the largest specification effort in the history of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG), with more than 100 companies participating. Known as AdvancedTCA, the official specification designation is PICMG 3.x (see below). AdvancedTCA is targeted to requirements for the next generation of "carrier grade" communications equipment. This series of specifications incorporates the latest trends in high speed interconnect technologies, next generation processors, and improved Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS).


The Shingo Prize

The Shingo Prize, named for Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo, was established in 1988 as the standard of excellence to educate, assess and recognize organizations that achieve the highest level of world-class operational excellence around the globe. The philosophy of The Shingo Prize is that sustainable results are achieved through the application of universal, self-evident principles of operational excellence and the alignment of management systems and improvement techniques throughout an entire organization. The Shingo Prize is administered by the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

VMEBUS INDUSTRY TRADE ASSOCIATION - Accredited as an American National Standards developer and a submitter of Industry Technical Agreements to the IEC, the VITA Standards Organization provides its members with the ability to develop and to promote open technology standards. Standards development takes place in working groups and study groups. The VSO has created more than 30 standards in the past 10 years that promote open technology systems. Within the VSO no one individual holds the power to decide what technology may become a standard — that power belongs solely to the membership.


VMEbus is a computer bus standard, originally developed for the Motorola 68000 line of CPUs, but later widely used for many applications and standardized by the IEC as ANSI/IEEE 1014-1987. It is physically based on Eurocard sizes, mechanicals and connectors (DIN 41612), but uses its own signalling system, which Eurocard does not define. It was first developed in 1981 and continues to see widespread use today.


VPX, formerly known as VITA 46, is an ANSI standard (ANSI/VITA 46.0-2007) that provides VMEbus-based systems with support for switched fabrics over a new high speed connector. Defined by the VITA (VME International Trade Association) working group (comprising major industry organizations such as Boeing, Curtiss-Wright, Elma Electronic, GE Fanuc Embedded Systems, Hybricon, Kontron, Mercury Computer Systems and Northrop Grumman), it has been designed specifically with defense applications in mind, with an enhanced module standard that enables applications and platforms with superior performance. VPX retains VME's existing 6U and 3U form factors, supporting existing PCI Mezzanine Card and XMC mezzanines (PMC with high-speed serial fabric interconnect), and maintaining the maximum possible compatibility with VMEbus.


ANSI/VITA 41, VMEbus Switched Serial or VXS, is an ANSI standard that combines parallel VMEbus with enhancements to support switched serial fabrics including PCI Express, RapidIO, StarFabric and InfiniBand over a new high speed P0 connector. Backward compatibility is maintained with existing backplanes that do not have a conflicting P0 scheme. Combining the VME2eSST parallel bus with switch fabric technologies for multi-point, high-speed data transfers creates choices for embedded computing designs of all types. The standard also incorporates ANSI/VITA 1.7, allowing more DC power input into each board.