Developing 5G Networking? Think Custom SoC – Think Socionext
Socionext has a long standing history of state-of-the art Custom SoC for optical transport network applications, providing the world’s first 100G, 200G and 400G chipsets to the market and revolutionizing the telecom space.
These breakthroughs were achieved by Socionext’s unique ultra-high speed and high performance Analog-to-Digital-Converters (ADC), Digital-to Analog-Converters (DAC), Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) with fully integrated Digital Signal Processing (DSP) integrated into a single low power, small sized mixed-signal Custom SoC solution using specialized packaging technologies.
With the introduction of 5G the wide variety of existing know-how can be utilized for new developments enabling better solutions, overcoming existing boundaries and pushing forward the 5G frontiers for new, broader network eco systems.
5G’s requirement for high data rates but also low latency with new feature sets mean that transmitting data using discrete devices and modules in conventional, non-Custom SoC solutions will inevitably lead to a dramatic rise in power consumption. However, using Socionext intelligence the integration into a Custom SoC offers major benefits to system solutions since it enables optimized, complex designs with higher performance but lower power consumption and smaller footprints.
With 5G sub 6 GHz RF front ends, wide signal bandwidths (BW), supporting envelope-tracking (ET) will require large bandwidths (100s of MHz). This will be difficult to maintain with standard RFICs. However, an optimized digital front-end (DFE) Custom SoC will revolutionize the future wireless world by using a Direct RF architecture. This architecture will remove excessive amplifiers and filtering blocks and put all functions into a digital integrated fully BW selectable DSP that allows for automatic tracking and reduction of distortions and interferers.
Considering platforms such as modem-to- antenna systems or high-end antenna arrays in 5G allow successive multiple-input/output (MIMO) applications. A Custom SoC can be used to focus signals onto end devices and can then be operated successfully alongside a large number of ADCs and DACs with all control functions. It is possible for customers to select the modulation format, the exact baud rate, overhead channel coding and training sequences. All IPs are designed to intelligently work together to consistently deliver high cellular speeds, superior coverage, and outstanding power efficiency in sleek form factors. This then improves capacity, user data rates, spectrum usage and latency and ensures best possible trade-offs or optimization for different application scenarios.
Depending on the way the Customer SoC is optimized it can support a variety of services and applications. For example, the top priority might be for a particularly wide transmission range, keeping power consumption to a minimum or achieving a high data rate. It is possible that there is a requirement for a combination of all these characteristics. Optimization of all the processes is a job for a Custom SoC which will allow system vendors or operators to achieve solutions that include all the specific features they require and allows them to set themselves apart from the competition.
5G will play a decisive role in the digital transformation not only for mobile broadband access, fronthaul and backhaul, but also for Internet of Things (IoT), Industry, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), applications connecting vehicles, machines, users and things. The new challenges that come with these applications are changing radio access technologies. Custom SoCs will have an important role to play in implementing these new technologies. Socionext's investments in this technology and its many years of expertise mean it is perfectly placed to react to the latest trends.
Think Custom SoC – Think Socionext