Qualcomm introduces small cell system-on-chip for SMEs and neighbourhoods

Industry-first 28nm neighborhood and SME small cell SoC combines Qualcomm’s cellular and Wi-Fi technologies to provide MNOs and businesses a way to address growth in mobile data demand

Qualcomm introduces small cell system-on-chip for SMEs and neighbourhoods

Qualcomm has introduced the Qualcomm FSM90xx system-on-chip (SoC) for neighbourhood and small and medium enterprises (SME) small cells. From its inception to implementation, the FSM90xx has been designed and optimised to meet the cost targets and performance requirements of neighbourhood and SME segments.

The FSM90xx is designed to provide specific features so that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can deliver the right form factor and application for the target use cases. The FSM90xx leverages LTE functionality from the FSM99xx, which was announced last year and is commercially available now.

With access points (APs) based on this new small cell SoC, mobile operators, cable multiple systems operators (MSOs) and businesses can expand network capacity and ensure superior end-user mobile experiences cost effectively, Qualcomm said.

With the evolution to LTE networks and the growing use of bandwidth intensive applications, mobile data traffic is expected to increase exponentially. Calling this the 1000x data challenge, Qualcomm Technologies has been innovating to deliver small cell technology that helps operators, OEMs and ecosystem companies address the growing consumer demand for data.

The company believes organisations must find new ways to add network capacity in order to address the expanding demand for increasingly higher quantity and quality content from mobile devices inside homes, across neighbourhoods and in SMEs, where the majority of data is consumed.

Small cell deployments in these environments are designed to reduce the cost of service delivery, help open new revenue opportunities, and improve the end-user experience with faster mobile broadband services and better quality voice connections. 

The FSM90xx is designed to help network operators augment their existing cellular networks while providing cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity support. Enabling connected experience for home and SMB users, the FSM90xx brings LTE and Wi-Fi closer together by leveraging functionality of the Qualcomm Internet Processor (IPQ), which features a powerful packet processing engine that scales to handle a variety of networking functions, including Wi-Fi and LTE.

Hardware accelerators have been built into the chipset to speed up data processing for both radio technologies, which allows for significant bill of materials savings, both from a hardware perspective and in terms of reducing overall development time needed for system integration.

Of note, the FSM90xx is the only neighbourhood and SME product based on 28nm technology, enabling best-in-class power consumption and again minimising the total solution cost for very high volume applications. It has been designed for easy integration with existing products, including residential broadband gateways and SMB Wi-Fi routers, so that software applications can take advantage of both cellular and Wi-Fi radios to deliver a better end-user experience.

The FSM90xx is software compatible with the FSM99xx to allow OEMs to expand their product portfolios by leveraging their software investments in FSM99xx. The FSM90xx also benefits from the mature LTE PHY, digital pre-distortion, low power consumption and other differentiating features of FSM99xx.

To reduce interference and maintain high service quality for dense SMB and neighbourhood small cell deployments, the FSM90xx integrates advanced self-organising networks (SON) techniques through UltraSON software. The FSM90xx can be paired with Qualcomm Technologies’ RFICs (FTR8xxx) to support all LTE bands worldwide and maintains compatibility with the FSM99xx to further ease and speed OEM product development across both product lines.

“Qualcomm is bringing its mobile and networking heritage to bear for consumers, innovative OEMs, wired and wireless network operators,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president, Qualcomm Atheros. “We cannot solve the 1000x data challenge with spectrum alone.

“Small cells are critical to enhancing network capacity and improving mobile broadband connections. With this latest addition to our small cell family of products, Qualcomm is continuing to be a leader in the industry by delivering a segment-wide solution to enable the deployment of small cells anywhere and everywhere.”

The FSM90xx SoCs are expected to sample in the second half of 2014.

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