Chip Startup Spurs Small-Cell Backhaul

Israel-based chipset startup DesignArt Networks has added speed and flexibility to its system-on-chips (SoCs) for Long Term Evolution (LTE) small cells and backhaul as it announced two products on Wednesday. (See DesignArt Beefs Up Small-Cell Backhaul.)

For small-cell backhaul, the company's Unified Mobile Backhaul software now supports 1Gbit/s speeds as well as multiple wireless technologies. For example, the system supports point-to-multipoint, non-line of site (NLOS) microwave in sub-6GHz spectrum as well as short-range millimeter wave spectrum (a.k.a., E-band spectrum). In addition, it can also support in-band backhaul, whereby a portion of an operator's spectrum that is used for access services is allocated for backhaul transmission.

DesignArt's products can be deployed as a standalone backhaul system or as an integrated part of an LTE small-cell base station. The integrated approach is what the company refers to as "self-backhaul."

The company also announced an LTE small-cell reference design for its DAN3000 family of SoCs.

Why this matters
Backhaul is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for LTE small cells as the Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) evolves. Compact base stations, for LTE in particular, will need very high-capacity, low-cost and flexible backhaul. DesignArt's "self-backhaul" concept and the new support for 1Gbit/s transmission appear to match those requirements. (See Get Hip to the HetNet and Backhaul Clouds Metro Femto Vision.)

It is certainly a startup to watch for small-cell backhaul: A DesignArt competitor, Provigent Inc. , was snapped up by Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) for US$313 million in March this year. (See Broadcom Buys Into Microwave Backhaul.)

For more
For more on DesignArt and backhaul for small cells, see these stories:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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