Backplane (BP) refers to a backplane of a rack in which computing equipment, servers, systems or industrial computers are housed. Different modules with their many interfaces, ports and buses can be connected and configured via such a backplane. Backplanes are used in communications technology, especially for large hubs, routers, switches or blade servers.
A backplane implements the logical and physical interconnection of plug-in boards, single- board computers, carrier boards or functional boards or other functional units to form an overall system. The backplane must provide a bandwidth from the transmission capacity that corresponds to the sum of all port bandwidths. For example, if a Fast Ethernet article has ArticleID="16" ArticleURL="Ethernet-Switch-Ethernet- switch" ArticleTitle="Ethernet-Switch"> Ethernet switch 10 ports, this results in a bandwidth for the backplane of 1 Gbps. Typical bus systems for backplanes are the VME bus, PCI bus, Compact PCI, etc. In addition to the technologies mentioned, there are various high-speed variants of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet with data rates of up to 100 Gbit/s with backplane Ethernet.
A backplane can be divided into several different bus systems under application aspects. The most complex solution is to provide a separate backplane for each implemented technology. For servers, the backplane distributes the diverse incoming service requests among the set of application and file servers.
In a passive backplane concept, the individual components are interconnected by a completely passive bus. There are no active components on the backplane. This design approach has the advantage that the backplane ensures a high level of fail-safety. The passive backplane is controlled by a separate controller module. The interfaces of a backplane to the subrack are described in the IEC 60297standard.