Using Reference Designs for
Custom Rack Mount Systems

Electronic Enclosures, Inc. (EEi) has produced rack mount chassis for decades in many forms (servers, switches, RAID, etc.). Historically, we started with a blank slate with every new system. After reviewing years and years of rack mount chassis designs we found numerous basic configurations applicable to a myriad of system requirements.
Now, we rarely start a new system design at the very beginning. EEi has prepared rack mount chassis IP for over a dozen reference designs. Each is EIA/ECA-310-E (RS-310) compliant. This IP consist of 3D models, production documentation and BOMs ready for our transformation to meet your requirements. Each reference design has specific features suitable for different applications. EEi can recommend one or more of our reference designs, after reviewing and discussing your systems’ electomechanical requirements.
reference design rack mount chassis
Modifications of these reference designs go from a simple single board to redundant PSUs, hot-swap modules, fans, drives, and anything else you can imagine. Selecting the right rack mount chassis reference design from which to begin can then be stretched from a 1U to 2U, 3U, etc., stretched in length, width, whatever is required.
Within hours, we’ve trimmed days, even weeks of engineering time and cost as the reference design becomes our starting point. We add your boards, PSUs, drives, I/O, power module, silk-screen or labeling, etc., and we are ready for a CDR and prototyping your chassis and fully assembled system.

Each reference design has seemingly subtle differences important to meeting specific requirements. During the selection process, we’ll also ask about overall thermal dissipation and primary heat dissipating components to understand the thermal topology. We’ll ask about clock speeds to plan for emissions and immunity compliance.

  • The number, size and configuration of boards
  • What protrudes through the front and rear (I/O, etc.)
  • AC or DC power input
  • What, if any, components need redundancy
  • Are there any externally removable module requirements (FRUs) such as console, comm., configuration or upgradeability, etc.

Questions like these will determine which reference design chassis approach will make for the most efficient starting point, or do we start from scratch?
After a little stretching here, shrink it there, we add your internal components, punch holes in the sides, add airflow compression, setup zones or other airflow enhancements and add whatever FRU modules you require. We finish it off with paint, branding and silk-screen or label artwork. With a CDR and your approval, we are ready to produce your prototypes.
Our prototypes look like products and ready for your next trade show.

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