Fulcrum Microsystems was a developer and manufacturer of high-performance Ethernet switching silicon. They contacted us to produce reference designs as 19″ 1U rack mount enclosures to showcase their silicon’s capability. This necessitated several unique motherboards, power, cooling and an electronic enclosure for each of their platforms.
NETBased provided design constraints drawing and back-check support for their motherboard design subcontractor. We designed each of the 1U chassis. Each system board had it’s own unique heat dissipation topology. Three different cooling strategies were determined and implemented for cooling each of the different systems.
It was initially intended that only a handful would ever be produced – enough for Fulcrum sales to pass around to their prospective customer. Fulcrum sales provided these reference design systems for customer evaluation of their silicon. Customers very quickly recognized the quality of the reference design as a whole (motherboard, rack mount chassis, power and cooling). It wasn’t long before customers were making requests for production quantities with alternate paint and branding of the chassis. Unintentionally, the reference designs quickly became production products.
Intel eventually acquired Fulcrum Microsystems.