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Processor family pushes intelligence to the edge of the network

Networking specialist Cavium has launched the OCTEON Fusion-M family that spans from a single chip macrocell baseband device to a part which can be used in smart radio heads.

OCTEON Fusion-M processors are single chip solutions that target next generation radio. Key features are said to include optimised full custom processor cores, an efficient caching subsystem, high memory bandwidth and a flexible, high performance PHY.

The CNF75xx is said to be a macrocell on a chip, offering a full L1 to L7 implementation and support for up to 3600 users. Featuring up to 16 custom MIPS cores running at up to 2GHz and multiple VLIW DSP engines, the CNF75xx integrates hardware accelerators for the wireless modem pipeline, network processing and traffic shaping. This family is designed to allow system OEMs and operators to build next generation networks in both macrocell and Cloud RAN deployments while retaining the flexibility to evolve into the new 5G standard.

Meanwhile, the CNF74xx smart remote radio head has eight 64bit MIPS cores and a flexible, high throughput L1 wireless modem subsystem. SAid to be the first commercial device designed specifically for smart radio head Cloud RAN deployments, the CNF74xx allows the implementation of any of the popular CRAN splits.

Syed Ali, president and CEO of Cavium, said: "Operators require a portfolio of base stations that address their different needs: enterprise, urban, metro-cell, macrocell and CRAN. With Fusion-M and ThunderX, Cavium addresses all of those segments through a portfolio of optimised solutions. Our new chips extend the eco-system in two radical directions: up to macrocell class and out to the radio node required in CRANs."

The Fusion-M family will sample in Q3 2015.

Graham Pitcher

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