Saturday, February 24, 2024

Advanced System-On-Chip For 5G Small Cell Radio Units

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The SoC transforms 5G small cell deployments with efficient design, cost savings, and compatibility across diverse network environments.

SoC

Picocom has introduced the PC805 System-on-Chip (SoC), designed for 5G small cell Open RAN radio units (O-RUs) in various network deployment scenarios, including enterprise, industrial, neutral host, private networks, as well as indoor environments such as residential settings and outdoor applications. The SoC is engineered for 5G and LTE small cell Open RAN radio unit platforms, offering compatibility with Split 7.2x O-RAN Radio Unit (O-RU CAT-A) and Split 8 Remote Radio Heads (RRH or RRU).

The PC805 streamlines O-RU design and reduces material costs. It interfaces with O-DUs via Open Fronthaul (split 7.2) and connects to RFICs through a JESD204B high-speed serial interface. The SoC includes an O-RAN-compliant software suite for 5G NR RU and M-plane operations.

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In contrast to current O-RU products that rely on FPGA technology and require hardware redesign for different use cases, the PC805 adapts through software changes, enhancing small cell deployment and addressing the need for carrier aggregation and flexible spectrum use.

The PC805 aggregates four or more 4T4R carriers within a 200 MHz instantaneous bandwidth (IBW), making it suitable for the US CBRS and similar bands in other countries, such as the UK’s band n77. It supports multiple bands, including TDD and FDD, for 5G NR and LTE. Additionally, using two PC805 SoCs can double the supported bandwidth capacity.

Oliver Davies, VP of Marketing at Picocom, said, “As 5G deployments progress, operators want to aggregate spectrum from different bands. This is especially true for neutral host operators, who often need to support the frequency allocations of several mobile operators or aggregate non-contiguous channels in a shared spectrum. PC805 supports these use cases with a minimum of additional components, greatly reducing capital and operating costs. Put, take PC805, add RF and a power supply, and you will have an O-RU!”

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