TI's KeyStone multicore architecture scaled to support unprecedented levels of capacity for cloud RAN applications and networked server developers



Continuing at the forefront of the wireless industry with its market-leading base station System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today unveiled an expansion of its KeyStone multicore architecture for emerging cloud radio access network (C-RAN) applications and network server developers. Specifically, TI is scaling its KeyStone architecture for the emerging paradigm of C-RAN base stations, enabling the creation of device pools with immense capacity for manufacturers to develop extremely high performance and power efficient C-RAN base station clusters. Clustering base station functions allow processing capacity to be concentrated, which offers an innovative alternative to operators looking to lower operating expenses by reducing the amount of equipment in the field. By extending its KeyStone architecture, TI provides a powerful and cost effective path to C-RAN for developers using KeyStone devices for small cell or macro cell base stations while protecting their software investment. "TI is unveiling a critical enabler for powerful and cost effective cloud RAN solutions," said Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst, mobile infrastructure, Yankee Group. "Expanding TI's flexible KeyStone architecture to meet C-RAN network topology requirements means that radio system innovators gain a unified architecture that scales from small cells to massive C-RAN processing pools. These enhancements offer vital design flexibility and time-to-market advantage without adding significant development cost." C-RAN is taking its place beside small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), active antenna arrays (AAA) and remote radio heads (RRH) as an emerging topological tool in the wireless arsenal being deployed to address growing challenges ranging from site acquisition to coverage and capacity enhancement to environmental stewardship (green base stations). KeyStone is the first multicore infrastructure architecture offering a comprehensive and scalable platform to base station developers. TI's KeyStone enhancements for C-RAN include expanding Multicore Navigator's Queue Manager to provide over 16K queues and one million descriptors. In addition, TI's Hyperlink chip-to-chip interface is expanded to 100Gbps with dual-port operation and its integral wire-rate Ethernet switch is upgraded to 10Gbps per port. Together, these enhancements allow a larger pool of TI's KeyStone-based System-on-Chips (SoC) to interconnect and function as a single SoC, a critical capability for C-RAN base stations requiring large scale processing from baseband IQ through Ethernet IP. This will ultimately enable developers to create an entire C-RAN base station from wireless-optimized KeyStone SoCs, eliminating the need for a power hungry x86 server and other network processors from competitors. "By leveraging the scalability of the KeyStone architecture, we have provided enhancements that represent a quantum leap in multicore processing performance," said Tom Flanagan, director of technical strategy, wireless base station infrastructure, TI. "With KeyStone, we can now create device pools with unheard of levels of capacity -- nearly 800 cores pooled to appear as a single multicore device. That's the power of KeyStone, a true multicore platform and differentiator, when it comes to choosing a silicon partner for C-RAN applications." About TI's KeyStone multicore architecture Texas Instruments' KeyStone multicore architecture is the platform for true multicore innovation, offering developers a robust portfolio of high performance, low-power multicore devices. Unleashing breakthrough performance, the KeyStone architecture is the foundation upon which TI's new TMS320C66x DSP generation was developed. KeyStone differs from any other multicore architecture as it has the capacity to provide full processing capability to every core in a multicore device. KeyStone-based devices are optimized for high performance markets including wireless base stations, mission critical, test and automation, medical imaging and high performance computing. Learn more at www.ti.com/c66multicore About Texas Instruments Texas Instruments semiconductor innovations help 80,000 customers unlock the possibilities of the world as it could be - smarter, safer, greener, healthier and more fun. Our commitment to building a better future is ingrained in everything we do - from the responsible manufacturing of our semiconductors, to caring for our employees, to giving back inside our communities. This is just the beginning of our story. Learn more at www.ti.com