IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

The Advent of 4G: Advancements in LTE with Base Station on-a-Chip Solutions

On October 24, Cavium, Inc., a provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, communications, and the digital home, announced that it is demonstrating end-to-end carrier class solutions for 4G networks at the 4G World 2011 conference from October 25th through the 27th in Chicago.  Among Cavium's technology highlights:

OCTEON Fusion Demonstration: Cavium will be demonstrating its small cell "Base Station on a chip" technology. This completely over-the-air LTE demonstration will include eight simultaneous connections including streaming of five HD videos, delivering up to the maximum possible data throughput. The demonstration platform consists of a commercially available 4G/LTE client, an OCTEON Fusion Technology-based eNodeB base station, Cavium's FusionStack eNodeB software, and a commercial 4G/LTE EPC (Evolved Packet Core) solution.

Cavium and its partners will also be showcasing multiple LTE solutions based on several product lines:

OCTEON II Family of Multicore MIPS64 Processors:  Cavium's highest performance embedded processors, with up to 48GHz of single-chip compute and 50Gbps full-duplex traffic throughput with scalability up to 32-chips and 1024 real-cores. 

OCTEON II Accelerator Boards:  4 - 40 Gbps Gigabit Ethernet NICs designed for advanced and secure network services, compression, and pattern matching for 3G/LTE core networks.

Odyssey:  Cavium will be showcasing its multi-mode UE technology with the Odyssey CNO9xxx product line, in partnership with Aricent. 

Cavium Solutions and Services (CSS):  Cavium will also be highlighting a variety of software toolkits optimized for multi-core.

VDC views Cavium's announcements and demonstrations at 4G World this week as part of a larger inflection point in the general advancement of small-cell networks enabled by base station-on-chip technology.  Certainly, several other embedded processor suppliers have recently announced similar base station-on-a-chip concepts, including Freescale which announced earlier in 2011 the introduction of its QorIQ Converge base station-on-chip family. 

Over the next five years, service providers will need to find cost-effective ways to improve both network performance and geographic coverage.  VDC believes that more wireless network equipment suppliers will attempt to satisfy the demand for small-cell mobile network solutions from their service provider customers with the development of smaller footprint wireless infrastructure technologies. 

As a result,  VDC envisions embedded processor suppliers, such as Cavium, continuing to be presented with opportunities and challenges of how best to capitalize on an attractive, and dynamic, market opportunity with a comprehensive range of base station-on-a-chip hardware, software, and services.  Those suppliers that have an end-to-end solution perspective are typically better positioned to help enable wireless equipment providers to implement more sophisticated mobile connectivity capabilities. 


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