PMC Enables Centralized Radio Access Network Deployment

HyPHY Flex Reference Design Provides Carrier-Grade OTN Fronthaul for C-RAN

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 24, 2015 — PMC-Sierra, Inc. (PMC®) (NASDAQ: PMCS), the semiconductor and software solutions innovator transforming networks that connect, move and store big data, today announced an OTN-based solution for fronthaul networking in Centralized Baseband RAN (C-RAN) architectures used for LTE and LTE-Advanced systems. Until now, C-RAN deployments have been stalled by complex fronthaul latency and timing requirements. PMC’s solution meets the required latency and beats jitter specifications with up to 75 percent margin, enabling OTN to be used to implement carrier-grade fronthaul (see infographic and video). Customers using PMC’s widely deployed HyPHY OTN processors can upgrade their existing designs to rapidly bring OTN-based fronthaul equipment to market.

To accommodate unprecedented mobile traffic growth, leading operators worldwide, such as China Mobile, SKT, NTT and Orange, are evolving their Radio Access Networks from distributed to a centralized base station model to maximize return on CAPEX and OPEX while improving spectral efficiency. A centralized RAN architecture lowers CAPEX through reduced site engineering expenses and improved baseband utilization. OPEX is reduced through lower power consumption, site leasing and maintenance expenses. However, centralizing baseband processing requires a high-capacity, high-reliability fronthaul network capable of transporting Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) up to 20km from cell site to baseband processing resources.

OTN is the standard protocol for transporting multi-service data over DWDM networks. With PMC’s breakthrough solution, OTN is now proven to provide sufficiently low latency and jitter to meet 3GPP specifications for end-to-end latency and jitter while multiplexing multiple CPRI signals onto a single 10G wavelength, substantially reducing fiber consumption and reducing expensive optic modules (see whitepaper).

“Solving the mobile fronthaul networking challenge is the key to enabling C-RAN,” said Dr. Chih-Lin I, chief scientist of wireless technologies, China Mobile Research Institute, CMCC. “CMCC is looking for more cost-effective, scalable and carrier-grade fronthaul solutions. As the standard protocol for carrier-grade transport, OTN is a very compelling option and we’re excited to see ecosystem partners like PMC innovating to deliver solutions that address the networking needs of mobile fronthaul.”

“Distributed remote radios in a C-RAN architecture has tremendous potential to address expanding mobile capacity and coverage needs, but it creates a fronthaul networking problem that PMC has now solved,” said Babak Samimi, vice president of marketing for PMC’s Communications Business Unit. “PMC’s new OTN-based mobile fronthaul solution not only meets operator needs, it also allows carriers to build on their end-to-end OTN strategy and benefit from the operational efficiency and management simplicity that comes with a converged network.”

Based on PMC’s field-proven HyPHY 20Gflex and HyPHY 10Gflex devices, the reference design provides the OTN management and protection functionality required for large-scale RAN deployments. PMC’s innovative new embedded software measures and reports uplink and downlink latency, equalizing it to within nanoseconds. The solution supports up to 16 CPRI links on a single wavelength to maximize fiber resources.


PMC’s fronthaul reference design will be available in March 2015. The reference design includes software and firmware updates to the existing HyPHY SDK and firmware binary files, FPGA sample code, as well as application notes. With this reference design, existing HyPHY 20G/10Gflex designs can be easily upgraded for CPRI fronthaul support. For more information, visit


About PMC

PMC (Nasdaq: PMCS) is the semiconductor and software solutions innovator transforming networks that connect, move and store big data. Building on a track record of technology leadership, the company is driving innovation across storage, optical and mobile networks. PMC’s highly integrated solutions increase performance and enable next-generation services to accelerate the network transformation. For more information, visit Follow PMC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and RSS.

© Copyright PMC-Sierra, Inc. 2015. All rights reserved. PMC and PMC-SIERRA are registered trademarks of PMC-Sierra, Inc. in the United States and other countries. PMCS is a trademark of PMC-Sierra, Inc. PMC disclaims any ownership rights in other product and company names mentioned herein. PMC is the corporate brand of PMC-Sierra, Inc.


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