Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cavium's OCTEON Fusion Puts Small Cell Base Station on a Chip

Cavium introduced its small cell "Base Station-on-a-chip" family for LTE and 3G networks.

The new OCTEON Fusion series, which builds on the company's established L2-L7 presence in existing wireless infrastructure, combines Octeon's MIPS64 based multi-core architecture with purpose-built Baseband DSP cores, extensive LTE/3G hardware accelerators and digital front end (DFE) functionality into a single chip. This enables very small footprint designs, including picocell and micro base stations, with a minimal bill-of-materials (BOM) and power envelopes.

Significantly, the new OCTEON Fusion can be used for small cell LTE base stations scaling from 32 users to 300+ users and up to dual 20MHz carriers, making it a more powerful small cell base station solution than its competitors.

Cavium currently supplies its Octeon processors for 3G/4G platforms used by 8 out of the top ten telecom equipment manufacturers (TEM). The new OCTEON Fusion uses the same FusionStack L1-L3 software used in these systems. OCTEON Fusion and FusionStack Software have been developed in close partnership with a Tier-1 TEM and have been designed into their next gen LTE small cell base stations. PHY (L1) layer software includes complete user-plane and control plane components for FDD-LTE, TDD-LTE and 3G, along with protocol processing libraries that take advantage of the in-built hardware acceleration.

The OCTEON Fusion packs from two to six 64 bit cnMIPS cores operating at up to 2GHz with up to two to eight highly optimized baseband DSPs operating up to 1GHz and several carefully designed hardware accelerator blocks for security, packet processing and scheduling. Octeon uses a proprietary high-speed interconnect between cores, accelerators and memory for ultra low latency. Cavium also supports full C-programmability, Authentik secure boot functionality to eliminate the possibility of cloned or grey market base stations, and the ability to use portions of the LTE spectrum for the base stations own wireless backhaul.

Sampling is expected in Q1 2012.