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The next generation of large-scale physics experiments will be highly complex, raise new challenges in the field of control and automation systems and demand well integrated, interoperable set of tools with a high degree of automation. Fusion experiments will face similar needs and challenges. In nuclear fusion activities, e.g., JET and other devices, the demand has been to develop front-end electronics with large output bandwidth and data processing Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) controllers with efficient resource sharing between control tasks on the same unit and massive parallel computing capabilities. Future systems, such as ITER, are envisioned to be more than an order of magnitude larger than those of today. Fast control plant systems based on embedded technology with higher sampling rates and more stringent real-time requirements (feedback loops with sampling rates > 1 kHz) will be demanded. Furthermore, in ITER, it is essential to ensure that control loss is a very unlikely event and more challenging will be providing robust, fault tolerant, reliable, maintainable, secure and operable control systems. ATCA (Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture) is the most promising architecture to substantially enhance the performance and capability of existing standard systems delivering high throughput as well as high availability. Leveraging on ongoing activities at European fusion facilities, e.g., JET and COMPASS, this contribution will detail the control and data acquisition needs and challenges of the fusion community, justify the option for ATCA and, in the process, build the case for establishing ATCA as an instrumentation standard.