Cavium and Symmetricom Partner to Enable IEEE 1588 Precision Timing for Small Cell Base Stations

in press-release, Cavium, Small Cell, Symmetricom, 4G, LTE

San Jose, Calif., November 14, 2012 –Cavium, Inc., (NASDAQ: CAVM), a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, communications, and the digital home, and Symmetricom, (NASDAQ:SYMM), a worldwide leader in precision time and frequency technologies, today announced a collaboration to ensure that 3G and 4G/LTE networks maintain mission critical synchronization. Symmetricom’s SoftClock fully supports both the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) standard as well as the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and has now been certified for operation on Cavium’s OCTEON Fusion™, the industry's most powerful base station-on-a-chip family of SoC’s, enabling joint customers to further accelerate their time to market for their small cell solutions.

Ethernet and IP are rapidly replacing traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) circuit infrastructure in the communications network. This creates "Timing Islands" in the network, which can potentially cause calls to be dropped, connection issues and poor operational effectiveness. Issues such as these cannot be tolerated in todays rapidly growing 3G and 4G/LTE networks, where a carrier’s customers can “vote with their feet” and switch carriers. Mobile services are especially vulnerable as they require absolute precision in synchronized time stamping of packets throughout the network from base stations to the core. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a method to deliver synchronization via the packet network. Together, Cavium and Symmetricom's portfolio offers a solution. 

The OCTEON Fusion family delivers breakthrough capacity and throughput for LTE small cell base stations through a high performance multi-core architecture. OCTEON Fusion CNF71XX integrates Cavium’s award-winning OCTEON® multi-core architecture along with purpose-built Baseband DSP cores, extensive LTE hardware accelerators and digital front end (DFE) features into a single chip. The first release of this innovative new family of silicon includes four high performance MIPS64® cores and six DSP’s, along with baseband hardware acceleration units interconnected with a low-latency crossbar and shared memory subsystem, allowing service of more than 128 connected users while delivering line-rate throughput for Uplink and Downlink. Compared to alternate solutions available today, OCTEON Fusion provides up to 4x greater performance within the same power and cost envelope.

Symmetricom’s software-based SCr/SCe NTP/ PTP and sGPS SoftClockoffering, allow small cell designers to integrate one or more synchronization protocols for deployment in varied network topologies. Network operators benefit by having a solution that can be deployed with multiple types of backhaul and quality of service, enhancing the end-user experience and minimizing customer churn. This approach reduces overall costs, enhances time to market, and provides execution flexibility.

“The OCTEON Fusion processor family, with its market leading performance, continues to gain momentum in the small cell market,” said YJ Kim, General Manager, Infrastructure Processor Group, Cavium.  “Cavium is pleased to bring a joint market-ready small cell IEEE 1588 precision timing solution to market with Symmetricom, and to join the Symmetricom SyncWorld Ecosystem.”

“This relationship enables delivery of best-in-class NTP and PTP SoftClock solution on the base-station-on-a-chip OCTEON Fusion design,” said Manish Gupta, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development at Symmetricom. “We are excited to expand the SyncWorld Small Cells category with the addition of Cavium.”

The OCTEON Fusion CNF71XX, Fusion Stack™ and SDK have been sampling since April 2012. Symmetricom's SCr and SCe Small Cell SoftClock solutions have been available since June 2012. 

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