Turning to the telecom markets traditionally core for PMC, Lang noted carrier spending in 2012 “has been weaker than anyone expected,” citing Europe’s financial crisis and reduced spending by China’s top carriers.
“More recently there’s been some positive data points that could lead to a healthier 2013,” he said, noting AT&T’s announcement of plans to boost spending and signs China might award licenses by the end of 2013 for its 4G TD-LTE technology.
In optical core nets, “the big transition to packet networking really hasn’t happened other than in access networks and PONs,” Lang said. Nevertheless, PMC has rolled out OTN components to help with the shift which new carrier Ethernet standards could help accelerate.
In wireless, PMC’s WinPath3 network processors have started to gain traction with designs in six to seven of the top ten wireless backhaul systems. The chips acquired with Wintegra took longer than expected to get into production but are set to become “a $40-$50 million-a-year business that’s poised to grow nicely,” Lang said.
A new integrated antenna chip set for radio head ends holds promise, but won’t appear in trials until the middle of next year. Lang suggested PMC has 10 Gbit/s PON components ready for trails in Japan which is expected to pioneer that next-generation, last-mile market.
“In our three major segments of storage, optical and wireless, we feel like we have technical pieces that serve us well, and we feel we have the scale to participate there,” Lang said. “At a broader level, the industry is ripe for some consolidation, and PMC can, and will and has participated in that,” he said.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.