SoC silicon - Powerful building block to enable soft networks

September 18, 2012 //By Zhihong Lin, Tom Flanagan, Pekka Varis
SoC silicon - Powerful building block to enable soft networks
Zhihong Lin, Tom Flanagan, Pekka Varis of Texas Instruments outlines how SoC silicon can provide a powerful building block to enable soft networks.

The mobile Internet and the proliferation of smart devices have significantly changed the way people use networks. Smart devices have enabled people to work and interact with each other anytime, anywhere.  Mobile Internet consumer behavior is characterized by a thirst for new content, particularly location aware content, social network interaction, image sharing, posting and streaming video.

Parallel to the well documented consumer bandwidth explosion, is an emerging trend called “the internet of things” where machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is used to monitor control and automate everything from industrial controls to security monitoring. Most of th is M2M traffic is low volume (with the exception of video traffic), but the sheer number of devices that the network will need to track will impact the overall capacity. Together these trends are reshaping the landscape of the telecom network infrastructure and the application servers that provide content and machine-to-machine functionality.

The rapid increase in network demands is putting a heavy burden on today's network infrastructure, which requires significant upgrades and additional build out just to maintain today’s user experience. What is needed to solve this problem is a more powerful networking building block that enables a softer, more dynamic network. The following is a look at the fundamental enabling technologies that will deliver the computing power, connectivity, bandwidth, performance and economics for tomorrow's soft network infrastructure.

The trend of the evolving network
The Internet has fundamentally reshaped today’s network infrastructure. There are no longer separate voice and data networks, and Internet protocol (IP) is the dominant protocol for all interaction. The telecom core network continues to converge with the mobile and fixed line network. Wireless networks are moving from a macro-dominated structure to a heterogeneous network (HetNet) composed of a variety of cell sizes to improve coverage and capacity. Cloud based techniques are driving a renaissance in application design and data center construction. Cloud techniques are even being considered as an alternative to the field

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