Ceragon’s 5th generation chipset is here – Part 2

By Erez Schwartz 7 min read

Mind-blowing capacity, huge cost advantage and immense flexibility – these are only some of the significant competitive advantages Ceragon’s new generation chip-set – our System on a chip - give us, as Erez Schwartz, Ceragon’s EVP product, explains to Dr.Dahlit Brin in this second half of their conversation about the tape-out of Ceragon’s 5th generation chipset.


Full interview transcript:

Hello and welcome back to the Backhaul Lounge and I'm Dahlit Brin and today I'm joined again by Erez Schwarz, our EVP products. Now Erez, last time we spoke about our tape out of our new 5th generation chipset, you explain to us why we decided to invest in-house in the development and the need for this new chipset for the 5G products that we are that we're taping out now. What I would really, really want to know now is about the details, about the unique features of our chipset. And you know what that brings to for us in terms of competitive advantage. But first of all, when you walk down the corridors here lately, we hear a buzz and SoC- system-on-a-chip and then we hear chipset. So first of all, please, you know, sort me out. Explain to me what is a chip- or what is a system-on-a-chip compared to a chips set?

Traditional chips that are out there, and also what we did in the past, are basically just the modem part alone and all the other components are discrete. What we have done in this new generation chipset is that we integrated on the chip itself, the CPU, the host processor, networking and actually several modems, all of them on one chip. And what we get is, instead of getting a system with a lot of components that are much more expensive and bigger, we get everything into a single chip. And that enabled us to save cost and also boost performance.

Now, what does it mean in terms of our products that we can then develop and produce?

I think one of the advantages is that when we design our systems, we start with looking into the future and looking into the future, what we call product family, meaning 8, 9, 10 different products.

From these products we start deriving top-down, we start deriving the requirements, and then we go and design the element itself. And one of them, one of the major one, is the SoC that sits in the center of the system. But not only the SoC, we also design RF chips and we design, of course, the hardware and all of that. And by that, we have a chip that is optimal for quite a lot of new products. Some of them are very different products. And also it is optimized for power, optimized for cost and ease of use. OK, so we are not just designing chip for the sake of doing the chip, we are designing the chip that would fit the full product family.

Ok, so if I understand correctly, we now have one brain and heart that actually can be used to produce a whole range of scenarios of products for 5G. As you explained last time, we're not even sure exactly what scenarios we'll meet. So we actually have a lot of flexibility and it will enable us to also cut the time to market for new products because we use one new system and we don't have to produce different chips for different products and economies of scale.

We can actually cut in costs because we have one system that we then scale up. And you also mentioned previously that it will really help us boost that capacity. Can you maybe expand a little bit more about why and how?

Right, so, the new chip, on top of what we talked earlier about the integration, it brings a lot of performance boost in various aspects. The first one is that the modem can be much wider. And we know that for 5G, we need much higher data speeds and for that higher data speeds, we need more spectrum. In order to get more spectrum, we go to higher bands. So this chip, together with the appropriate RF chip can sample and process these wide channels and wide data rates that are needed for this operation.

Second is that this chip integrates several modems, meaning we can do either system that are using more than one modem or even doing multimode, for example, doing millimeter wave plus microwave and actually doing several of each, all again integrated in one chip. So by that, we are ready for the 5G higher speeds and higher bandwidth. And of course, 5G is going to be very different from either. It can be a fronthaul and can be a traditional microwave or it can be a multimode system either small or big. And we are ready.

Ok, so that's really exciting. So what we essentially have is, we have, as I said, one brain and heart that is ready to serve any network scenario capacity, as and when needed, helping that upgrade path for our operators, for our customers. And really, it's the only one out there in the market which gives us a huge competitive edge. It's really, really exciting, very exciting times that we're now living and creating in Ceragon. So Erez, Thank you so much for joining us. And I'll certainly be looking out on that chipset. And we'll be bringing more information as well. And thank you so much for being with us in the Backhaul Lounge. And stay tuned for more.

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