Well, all I can say is that I bet there are some very happy people in Estonia (located about 40 or 50 miles south of Helsinki, Finland
as the fish swims) at the moment.
This is because the folks at Xilinx have just announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Modesat Communications, a high performance wireless backhaul solutions provider with industry-leading capabilities and roadmap.
And I wager that it's not just the guys and gals from Modesat Communications who are walking around with great big smiles on their faces. Having a locally grown company that is competing at this level of technology on the world stage has to make a lot of folks turn an interested eye on Estonia in general so I assume that those who don the undergarments or authority and stride the corridors of power with regard to business development in Estonia are also bouncing around with a jaunty gait.
OEMs focusing on mobile backhaul platforms can now take advantage of Xilinx All Programmable 7 series FPGAs and Zynq-7000 SoCs combined with Modesat wireless backhaul solutions to gain market competitiveness and differentiation. Xilinx wireless mobile backhaul solutions provide faster time-to-market and viable alternatives for OEMs, who are constrained today by limited merchant IP options. Customers can retain their proprietary IP, while leveraging the backhaul solutions and the flexibility of Xilinx All Programmable FPGAs and SoC devices to achieve faster time-to-market.
"Xilinx is excited to acquire Modesat and merge their products and technology with our existing wireless solutions to better serve our valued customers. We have consistently received feedback from our customers to provide total solutions optimized for wireless mobile backhaul applications. We've listened to our customers and aligned our portfolio and roadmap to serve their needs. Modesat is a great synergistic fit," said Krishna Rangasayee, senior vice president and general manager of the Xilinx Communications Business Unit. "This is another affirmation of our commitment to the wireless markets and to offer our customers the best combination of silicon, solutions IP and design services to assist them in differentiating and succeeding in their markets."
Worldwide LTE network deployments are straining the existing backhaul network infrastructure, resulting in significant carrier CAPEX spending on upgrading wireless backhaul. OEMs are diversifying their wireless mobile backhaul portfolios to add new features and technology capabilities that address ever-changing market needs. There is increasing interest in e-Band and NLOS backhaul technologies, beyond traditional microwave backhaul. The market dynamics in these fast-cycle, cost-competitive wireless backhaul markets are resulting in new challenges and opportunities for OEMs. Xilinx is a key semiconductor supplier to the leading OEMs in wireless mobile backhaul markets. With the Modesat acquisition, Xilinx now provides OEMs a rich portfolio of industry-leading solutions IP and services addressing the backhaul strategy of OEMs.
"Xilinx is the industry's leading FPGA manufacturer for the wireless communications market. Bringing our modem technology and design expertise to the Xilinx family is an ideal fit," said Tarmo Pihl, co-founder of Modesat Communications. "Xilinx currently does significant business in the wireless infrastructure backhaul segment based on their complete All Programmable FPGA offering. With the addition of Modesat backhaul solutions the opportunity in this segment will be greatly expanded and we will be better able to serve tier-1 and tier-2 wireless infrastructure customers and provide complete backhaul modem solutions."
Modesat IP solutions are highly optimized algorithmic implementations designed from the ground up targeting FPGA silicon. Modesat's patented technology has been validated by customers and designed into multiple customer backhaul systems. Their IP solutions cover the complete wireless mobile backhaul requirements for wireless single-carrier PHY, packet processing and connectivity (eNet) capabilities.
Targeting Xilinx All Programmable FPGAs and Zynq-7000 SoCs with Modesat's IP cores and the existing Xilinx signal processing and packet processing IP cores, customers gain the advantages of high system performance, low power consumption, flexibility of All Programmable system integration, BOM reduction and accelerated design productivity. Xilinx wireless mobile backhaul solutions provide a viable alternative to rigid ASSP-based merchant silicon solutions in the market today.
Modesat Communications was founded in 2005 in Tallinn, Estonia and specializes in the development of backhaul modem solutions for microwave, E-band and NLOS (non-line of sight) markets. The company has fifteen employees, who will be joining Xilinx as part of the Xilinx Communications Business Unit. Modesat offices in Tallinn and San Diego, California will continue operations.
"The main characteristics of the mobile backhaul equipment market have changed little in the last year with certainly IP/Ethernet being the primary driver. Mobile operators and backhaul transport providers are investing heavily in IP, which in turn is helping push the equipment market in total," stated Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research. "The move to IP as the basic technology of LTE (and WiMAX) is growing no matter how it is measured. Microwave backhaul is a very attractive market, and microwave is the dominant backhaul solution already at $4B in 2012, growing to over $5B in 2016."
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