TI Goes Big on Small Cells

LONDON – Femtocells World Summit 2011 -- Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) set the stage for this week's femtocell fest that is the Femtocell World Summit with the launch of two system-on-chips (SoCs) for metro, pico and enterprise small cells.

The chip giant claims the new dual-mode HSPA+/Long Term Evolution (LTE) SoCs are the highest performing devices for metro, pico and enterprise small cells and are based on the vendor's Keystone multicore architecture. The processing elements include two or four fixed- and floating-point DSP cores as well as an ARM Cortex-A8 RISC processor. The SoCs will begin shipping in the third quarter of this year. (See TI Boosts Femtos and TI Muscles In on Small Cells .)

And here's a rundown of all the femto news so far this week:

  • ip.access Ltd. -- the femto vendor whose technology powers AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Microcell service -- announced a diagnostic software tool called OysterCatcher, which probes femto access points to find radio performance problems in large-scale deployments. The software identifies radio issues that the femtos' automatic configuration techniques alone cannot detect. (See OysterCatcher Fine-Tunes Deployed Femtocells.)

    The vendor also added to its portfolio a new femto access point that is designed for large offices or indoor public areas and supports up to 24 users. (See ip.access Extends Femto Reach Indoors.)

  • Continuous Computing Corp. introduced not only a new software product but also a new word -- "Femtotality." [Ed note: Is it too much of a spoil-sport remark to say, let's hope the term doesn't catch on?] The new Trillium software application suite includes radio resource management (RRM) and self-organizing network (SON) capabilities along with operations, administration and management (OA&M) functionality including support for industry standards TR-069 and TR-196.

  • The Femto Forum Ltd. boasts that with 2.3 million 3G femtocells deployed globally, the tiny little base stations now outnumber 3G macrocells, of which there are 1.6 million.

  • Ubiquisys Ltd. announced that it will stick with femto chip partner Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) to develop an integrated femtocell home gateway.

  • Picochip , Cavium Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM) and Continuous Computing are demonstrating an LTE small cell here using commercially available user and core equipment.

    — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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