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Wobbly
User Rank
CEO
Power?
Wobbly   7/3/2013 1:18:28 PM
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What is the power consumption on a Cloud RAN compared to custom silicon?

Much of the custom server design effort at Facebook and Google was to directly address power consumption.

What is the power cost over time compared to the differentiated cost of custom solutions compared to generic processors?

I know one falls under cap-ex and the other op-ex, but dollars are dollars.

elctrnx_lyf
User Rank
Manager
Re: x86 vs. DSP
elctrnx_lyf   7/3/2013 12:38:16 PM
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The CRAN could solve lot of problems of the cuurent architecture of communication networks to use the hardware in more optimized manner. This is defijitely more a valid case in urban geographic where the demand could be switching dunamically across different areas.

SamFuller
User Rank
Rookie
Re: x86 vs. DSP
SamFuller   7/2/2013 11:15:00 PM
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It's an interesting concept but I think the reality is that wireless networks are very competitive markets for equipment and for silicon.  The standards and the silicon evolved together to optimally partition and solve the problem of wireless communications.  It is unlikely that general purpose servers will be more cost effective than equipment developed specifically to solve the wireless network problem.  Also, as you mention transporting raw antenna data over long distance fiber has problems as well.  There are some dense urban geographies where consolidated Layer 1 processing may make sense, but it is highly unlikely that the wireless communications industry will be able to move into the "cloud" any time soon.

LarryM99
User Rank
CEO
Why not?
LarryM99   7/2/2013 1:56:15 PM
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This seems like a natural progression and a nice way for carriers to cut costs. It's not too surprising that the chip venders aren't jumping behind it, because it really isn't a huge volume market for them. Moving to standardized motherboard architectures with PCIe cards for the application-specific cell network handling also could mean lower upgrade costs as new cell standards (i.e. LTE Advanced) come along.

It sounds like the cell providers should be following the path that Facebook is laying out. Check out this article in Ars Technika (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/07/how-facebook-is-killing-the-hardware-business-as-we-know-it/) about that.

rick merritt
User Rank
Blogger
x86 vs. DSP
rick merritt   7/2/2013 11:10:41 AM
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Will servers replaces base stations in some future cell networks?

This is a similar vision to what the OpenFlow crowd talks about with wired networking for data centers.

While Intel is struggling in mobile it is very well positioned in the cloud.



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