The company is targeting traditional macro base stations and systems one size smaller with its initial 16- and 12-core chips. It plans smaller and custom versions later for smaller cells.
Many carriers believe they will need and are conducting trials with a new tier of so-called small cell basestations to provide capacity in dense urban areas. However, each has its own distinct requirements and most see 2013 as a year of trials before deployments likely in HSDPA networks initially in 2014, said an Ericsson executive.
Some systems vendors used the Super Bowl and London Olympics as trials of so-called heterogeneous networks or HetNets. AT&T put out a request for information about small cells in November, indicating it wants to add 40,000 small cells to its LTE network.
“I expect HetNets will continue to be a big buzz at the Mobile World Congress” where LSI is formally announcing the new SoCs, Bailey said. “People will also talk about how software-defined networks will play out--some people think it has a big role and others say it doesn’t,” he added.
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The Axxia 5500 initially comes in high-end flavors with 16 and 12 Cortex A15 cores.
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.