Picocom hits the ‘sweet spot’ with new small cell SoC for Open RAN

The PC802 SoC is a purpose-designed SoC for 5G NR/LTE small cell disaggregated and integrated RAN architectures

Picocom has introduced the PC802 SoC (system on chip), a flexible, low power device that the company claims “empowers the innovation of a new breed of 5G NR open small cell products.”

The PC802 is the product of three years of work, and is reportedly the world’s first 4G/5G device dedicated to developing small cells with integrated support for Open RAN (Radio Access Networks) standards.

“It supports disaggregated 5G small cell platforms, including indoor residential, enterprise and industrial networks, neutral host networks and outdoor networks,” Picocom stated in a press release.

The PC802 SoC is a purpose-designed PHY SoC for 5G NR/LTE small cell disaggregated and integrated RAN architectures that includes support for 4G. It also has an integrated O-RAN Alliance Open Fronthaul interface (based on eCPRI) to connect and communicate with Open RAN (remote) radio units (RUs) and JESD204B interfaces to connect with commonly available radio transceivers.

“For small cell applications, the PC802 device transforms FAPI messages from the L2/3 into IQ samples for the radio and vice versa. This includes driving the external physical and software interfaces, PHY processing and Digital Front End (DFE) functions,” said the company.

“We believe we’ve hit the ‘sweet spot’ in addressing the need for optimized silicon to power Open RAN,” commented said Oliver Davies, VP of marketing at Picocom. “We are delighted with the pre-launch interest in PC802 and the positive feedback we’ve received on its specification. For successful deployments, it’s clear that Open RAN needs optimized silicon, and PC802 SoC delivers. We expect to see PC802 in end-products commencing field trials during 2022.”

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