Radiohead and baseband will no longer be found at the top and bottom of mobile operators’ masts for 5G, but relocated even deeper into the fabric of cities and buildings and into edge computing datacenters, respectively. This significant increase in their physical separation, combined with the ultra-low latency targets for 5G, means the connection of the two (fronthaul) needs a fresh approach.
To meet 5G fronthaul timing, frequency, and synchronization requirements, high-speed optical interconnect and optical transceivers for remote radioheads and baseband offer a solution, and silicon photonics provides a high-performance design fabric for optical transceiver design. The Cadence partnership with Lumerical provides the familiar Cadence® Virtuoso® environment for silicon photonic design, and silicon photonic and electronic co-design needed for optical transceivers.
Time-Sensitive Networking Ethernet is the appropriate protocol for potentially complicated 5G fronthaul connectivity to multiple radioheads, for which Cadence provides up to 100G Ethernet IP supporting IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol and TSN profile IEEE 802.1AS.