CEVA’s 5G IP modem reveals New Industrial Mega-trends

The provider of IP solutions for semiconductors, CEVA, announced the availability of PentaG2, its second generation IP modems platform for 5G networks. But unlike the first generation, PentaG2 is planned to answer the needs of a mature 5G industry characterized by well defined use cases and much detailed standards.

VP Marketing at CEVA, Moshe Sheier, told Techtime that the first generation of PentaG was heavily relied on Software Defined Radio, since the industrial standards were not yet finalized. “The latest releases of 3GPP 5G NR standards provides stable ground for new systems and allowed us replace many software defined accelerators with hardware ones, thus improving performance and reducing power consumption.”

PentaG2 includes a complete set of programmable accelerators and coprocessors, including Bit Modulation Unit (Tx), Bit Demodulation Unit (Rx), Equalizer and MAC engine co-processor Unit, Decoder/Encode as well as HARQ, MLD, Multi-radix DFT and more. The platform also includes a scalar DSP for PHY control, hardware acceleration scheduling, and running the protocol stack. All accelerators come with standard AXI interfaces for ease of integration.

“5G is not all about Smartphones”

PentaG2 platforms will initially be offered in two configurations: PentaG2-Max that is able to efficiently process the immense workloads required for 3GPP releases 16 and 17, and PentaG2-Lite for reduced capacity use cases, including LTE Cat1 and future 3GPP Rel-17/18 NR RedCap (Reduced Capacity, aka NR-Lite). “5G today is not all about smartphones, there are new established use cases including smart home, Industrial IoT, Wearable and more that connects 5G networks but can use smaller, chipper and lower performance chips.”

CEVA also announced that “PentaG2 customers can also benefit from SoC design services from CEVA to help integrate and support system design and modem development.” This is interesting: Last year CEVA acquired Massachusetts-based Intrinsix, a chip design specialist, for approximately $33 million in cash, and entered the business of chip design services. According to Sheier, the new business is needed to face a new mega-trend: “Our costumers want to control their supply chain and to develop their own chips. There is no a single major smartphone brand who does not involved in developing its own chips, and today we see this trend also in much smaller vendors, even in the field of IoT.”