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Cavium Powers an LTE Pixie

Dan Jones
2/20/2014
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Chipmaker Cavium is working with vendor Athena Wireless, among others, to show off its latest small cell system-on-a-chip (SoC) products at Mobile World Congress.

Athena is showing off its Pixie LTE small cell basestation and Phoenix 80GHz backhaul link units at the massive mobile show. The LTE small cell -- intended for indoor and outdoor use -- is based on the Cavium Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM) OCTEON Fusion silicon and said to support up to 64 active users. (See Know Your Small Cell: Home, Enterprise, or Public Access?)

The Pixie may also be one of the small cells being used in the eight LTE trials that Cavium says it has running at the moment. "In five different small trials we've gone to the operator and then brought the OEM in," Raj Singh, general manager of the wireless broadband group at Cavium, told Light Reading Wednesday.

Singh is expecting the silicon to be in commercial usage in the fall of 2014.

In common with rival small cell chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor Inc. , Singh says that carriers are also requesting some LTE-Advanced features in the latest small cell technology. Carrier aggregation is the one to have, the Cavium man says. (See Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually) and Freescale's LTE Small Cell Ambitions.)

Singh expects LTE TDD to be next on the menu. "We have TDD support now and we'll have a trial in the summer," Singh says. "The initial trial won't support voice but that's in the works." (See Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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