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
May 24, 2024
Could these creepy crawly robo-critters be the first step on a slippery road to a robot uprising coupled with an insect uprising?...
May 23, 2024
We're investing in semiconductor workforce development programs in Latin America, including government and academic partnerships to foster engineering talent.The post Building the Semiconductor Workforce in Latin America appeared first on Chip Design....

featured video

Why Wiwynn Energy-Optimized Data Center IT Solutions Use Cadence Optimality Explorer

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

In the AI era, as the signal-data rate increases, the signal integrity challenges in server designs also increase. Wiwynn provides hyperscale data centers with innovative cloud IT infrastructure, bringing the best total cost of ownership (TCO), energy, and energy-itemized IT solutions from the cloud to the edge.

Learn more about how Wiwynn is developing a new methodology for PCB designs with Cadence’s Optimality Intelligent System Explorer and Clarity 3D Solver.

featured paper

Altera® FPGAs and SoCs with FPGA AI Suite and OpenVINO™ Toolkit Drive Embedded/Edge AI/Machine Learning Applications

Sponsored by Intel

Describes the emerging use cases of FPGA-based AI inference in edge and custom AI applications, and software and hardware solutions for edge FPGA AI.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

Medical Grade Power
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and RECOM
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Louis Bouche from RECOM explore the various design requirements for medical grade power supplies. They also examine the role that isolation and leakage current play in this arena and the solutions that RECOM offers in terms of medical grade power supplies.
Nov 9, 2023
25,126 views