The Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA), describes a high bandwidth, high connectivity, chassis based architecture designed principally to appeal to the telecommunications industry. The object of the exercise was to closely connect compute engines within the chassis to multiple user services brought in at the front panel. This maps closely to the needs of real time systems and the main points of the architecture are reviewed and discussed in that light. The performance of an ATCA backplane has been tested and measured using a Backplane Tester developed within a 10 Gb/s Ethernet switch project that was an early adopter of the ATCA standard. Some results from these tests are presented.