editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Cavium’s Comms Integration

Communications chips have typically been dedicated to a specific piece of the complicated comms technology puzzle everywhere except in handsets, where space drives integration. But now, pieces that used to reside in separate chips are starting to come together. We saw that recently with Netlogic, and now Cavium has declared further integration in their just-announced OCTEON Fusion family, albeit for a different application: a “base station on a chip.”

It combines their MIPS-based multicore architecture with baseband DSP cores, hardware accelerators for LTE/3G functions, and their digital front end.

The idea here is not so much to shrink traditional base stations, but rather to simplify the creation and deployment of the base stations for the smaller cells that are starting to proliferate in densely populated areas and even inside buildings: the so-called micro-, pico-, and femtocells. In other words, smaller cells should have smaller base stations. (Who wants a big cabinet in their house just to fix the crappy cell coverage in the neighborhood?)

When you look up the definitions of what distinguishes these three categories of cell from standard (macro-) cells and from each other, you’ll typically see definitions that relate to the size of the cell. Which mostly determines signal power, really. When it comes to the amount of processing power you need, it’s the number of calls or users you’re handling that matters.

So I asked Cavium how they define these cells in terms of user load, and they identified the four following categories:

–          Microcell: 256+ users

–          Picocell: 128+ users

–          Enterprise femtocell: 32-64 users

–          Home femtocell: 4 users

They address these with three family members: the CNF7120 for 64 users; the CNF7130 for 256 users, and the CNF7280 for 300+ users.

More info in their press release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jan 24, 2020
Someone has created a song by taking Pi, assigning each number to a note, and adding harmonies. The result is strangely captivating....
Jan 24, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at the different ways memory can be organized in different kinds of systems.] Let'€™s look at a scenario: you run a restaurant, but you'€™re short on funds to hire people. So you'€™re your own chief cook and bottle-washer. You do everyt...
Jan 23, 2020
Embedded design trends typically revolve around three main ideas: faster data rates, smaller form factors and cost-effective solutions. Those design trends drive the theme for the 2020 Embedded Tech Trends forum: The Business and Technology Forum for Critical and Intelligent ...
Jan 22, 2020
Master the design and verification of next gen transport: Part One – Overview Master the design and verification of next gen transport: Part Two – High-Level Synthesis Master the design and verification of next gen transport: Part Three – Functional Safety M...

Featured Video

Automotive Trends Driving New SoC Architectures -- Synopsys

Sponsored by Synopsys

Today’s automotive trends are driving new design requirements for automotive SoCs targeting ADAS, gateways, connected cars and infotainment. Find out why it is essential to use pre-designed, pre-verified, reusable automotive-optimized IP to meet such new requirements and accelerate design time.

Drive Your Next Design to Completion Today with DesignWare IP® for Automotive SoCs