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18 June, 2020 - 09:22 By Tony Quested

Chinese firm picks UltraSOC for 5G small cells venture

Chinese semiconductor and software business Picocom is using Cambridge technology from UltraSOC for a new 5G play.

It is deploying UltraSoC’s hardware-based analytics and monitoring IP in its upcoming baseband system-on-chip (SoC) for 5G small cells. 

The UltraSoC IP enables Picocom and its customers to monitor, analyse and fine-tune the performance of their systems throughout the whole product lifecycle.

The functionality starts in the lab for silicon bring-up and software development and flows through to deployment and in-field optimisation. Picocom president Peter Claydon said: “As a result of this partnership with UltraSoC, Picocom customers can accelerate and de-risk their own system development and optimise system performance in the field over the lifetime of their product. 

“This is particularly important as the mobile industry starts to adopt open RAN and virtual RAN principles, which will see software from different vendors running code on the same hardware, with frequent software upgrades over the product lifecycle.”

Picocom provides open RAN standards-compliant baseband SoCs and carrier-grade software products for 5G small cell infrastructure. The company’s forthcoming distributed unit baseband offload system-on-chip is designed to be deployed in buildings to increase 5G coverage and reduce the processing load on 5G macrocells under the open RAN initiative. 

By partnering with UltraSoC to add in-field monitoring and analytics to its products, Picocom aims to further empower wireless vendors and new market entrants to compete in the rapidly evolving disaggregated telecoms RAN market.

UltraSoC CEO Rupert Baines said: “We are proud to be working with Picocom, an innovative company with extensive experience in the field of small cells. Too many silicon companies regard post-silicon debug and optimisation as ‘someone else’s problem’. 

“The fact that Picocom has selected such a comprehensive suite of UltraSoC IP demonstrates a serious commitment to helping its customers deliver the best possible products, on time – and with reliability and upgradeability ‘baked in’ from day one.”

Founded in 2018, Picocom is headquartered in Hangzhou, China, and has R & D engineering sites in Beijing and Bristol in the UK.

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