PMC's WinPath4 processor targets LTE backhaul needs

PMC-Sierra built its latest processor, WinPath4, to offer a number of LTE-friendly features, including support for Layer 3 IP transport, extensive IPV6 routing and single-chip capacity for up to 40 Gbps packet transport network (PTN) backhaul.

As LTE backhaul networks are deployed, carriers are eliminating their 3G radio node controllers (RNCs) and instead distributing the controller function across base stations, which requires migration from a Layer 2 centralized hub network to a Layer 3 mesh IP topology with intelligence at each base station. WinPath4's carrier Ethernet router-on-chip architecture allows system vendors to provide new platforms that enable this transition, said the vendor.

Further, operators must maintain legacy 2G and 3G service alongside LTE deployments, requiring both a Layer 2 PTN switch and a Layer 3 router at each cell site. PMC said its processor's architecture combines switch and router functionality in a single platform, eliminating the need for two platforms.

The WinPath4 also supports up to 2 million MPLS-TP and IPv6/IPv4 routes in a single chip.

In addition, Silicon Valley-based PMC is touting its processor's compatibility with software-defined networking, saying the device enables flexible software execution of OpenFlow commands.

"WinPath4 can be used as a router element in an SDN environment," said Liviu Pinchas, PMC's director of technical marketing. PMC implemented a piece of hardware inside the chips to perform packet classifications and inspections of header fields of arriving packets, he told FierceBroadbandWireless, adding the hardware is micro-programmed.

"One of our software partners has created an interface to OpenFlow, so we have a full OpenFlow solution," said Pinchas.

PMC said the WinPath4 also integrates unified synchronization combining IEEE 1588 and SyncE as well as virtual bonding technology that bundles fiber, copper or wireless Ethernet virtual bonding technology that bundles fiber, copper or wireless Ethernet.

For more:
- see this PMC release

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PMC-Sierra replaces 14 base station components with Unitrx chipset

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