Microsemi Delivers Scalable Fronthaul Solution for 4G and 5G Mobile Networks


Microsemi Corporation , a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance announced a new mobile fronthaul solution, built on its DIGI-G4 family of Optical Transport Network (OTN) processors, that will enable high capacity fronthaul connectivity for converged 4G and 5G centralized radio access networks (C-RANs).

The solution, which will be highlighted at The Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC) March 21-23, breaks new ground by extending 100G OTN into the RAN to simultaneously aggregate high density Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI), 10GE and 25GE radio links. It also enables up to a 10 times increase in capacity, while introducing innovations to address the need for low latency with automatic link equalization, and network security.

Mobile operators worldwide are evolving their RANs from a distributed to a centralized base station (C-RAN) model as a means to cost-effectively grow mobile capacity and prepare for 5G. According to market research firm IHS, C-RAN deployments will grow at 23 percent annually through 2020, representing greater than 60 percent of all 4G RAN deployments in that timeframe.

As mobile operators continue to add new LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) features such as carrier aggregation and higher order multiple in, multiple out (MIMO), and densify with small cells over their existing 4G networks, the CPRI interconnect between distributed radios and centralized baseband needs to scale by a factor of four times to a 10G rate. With the transition to 5G, fronthaul connections will need to scale up to 200Gbps, driven by dense 25GE Ethernet links from 5G radio heads.

“C-RAN is becoming the go-to network architecture as mobile operators address the need for increased capacity, but until now the lack of a cost-effective and fiber-efficient approach to building fronthaul networks impeded the industry’s transition to C-RAN,” said Babak Samimi, vice president and business unit manager of Microsemi’s communications business unit. “With the ecosystem continuing to cost-optimize 100G optics, in addition to the unique innovations integrated in our DIGI-G4, Microsemi has put forward a compelling answer to the fronthaul networking challenge that not only delivers on the significant increase in optical capacity needed, but allows operators to drive C-RAN deployments anchored on a unified architecture that allows for a seamless transition from 4G to 5G.”

Unlike conventional wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) solutions that allow for one-radio per WDM link, Microsemi’s DIGI-G4 OTN fronthaul architecture allows for the aggregation of multiple 4G or 5G radios links into 100G OTN connections which deliver up to 10 times the capacity scaling over existing optical infrastructure. Differentiated with an embedded optical link security engine, integrated patent-pending real-time link latency equalization and simultaneous support for 4G CPRI and 5G Ethernet protocols, Microsemi is helping redefine the capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) cost of ownership paradigm in building fronthaul networks for mobile operators.

“Microsemi has been a long-time key enabler for China Mobile to deploy 100G OTN switching in the metro and long haul network,” said Dr. Li Han, deputy director of the Network Department of China Mobile Research Institute. “We are pleased to see Microsemi extending its OTN leadership to 4G OTN fronthaul and actively prepare for 5G OTN fronthaul by enabling cost-effective, low-latency, high capacity, and future-proof 100G OTN mobile fronthaul in its DIGI family.”

About Microsemi’s Product Portfolio for Communications
Microsemi is a premier supplier of high value-add semiconductor, system and services for the enterprise, data center and telecom markets. Microsemi products enable customers to build secure, reliable and low power systems that can meet stringent requirements of next generation communication networks. Customers leverage Microsemi technologies to drive innovation in a range of applications including edge and core routers, Ethernet switches, optical transport network (OTN), wireless infrastructure including LTE-Advanced, small cells and Wi-Fi access points; access aggregation and broadband gateways including fiber/PON, G.fast and DOCSIS3.1.

Microsemi’s comprehensive communications portfolio offers market-leading advancements in multiple product categories including high accuracy timing and synchronization systems, software, components and services; feature-rich Carrier Ethernet switches and PHY, power-efficient and multi-standard compliant Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) systems and components, G.hn, G.fast and xDSL line drivers; innovative voice and audio intelligence, lowest power FPGAs with highest security and single event upset (SEU) immune fabric, security portfolio of hardware and software products including state-of–the-art multi-layer encryption, sophisticated key management, secure authentication with anti-tamper and anti-cloning capabilities; 100 Gigabits optical drivers and the most integrated Wi-Fi front-end modules (FEM). For more information, visit http://www.microsemi.com/applications/communications.

About Microsemi
Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and system solutions for aerospace & defense, communications, data center and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world’s standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; enterprise storage and communication solutions, security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Ethernet solutions; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, and has approximately 4,800 employees globally. Learn more at www.microsemi.com.

For further information:
Farhad Mafie, VP Worldwide Product Marketing,

Beth P. Quezada, Director,
Corporate Communications,