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Microsemi broadens grand master timing options for network edge deployments

March 7, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

Microsemi Corporation, a provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, has added two products to its IGM (Integrated Grand Master) product portfolio, the IGM-1100o (outdoor version) and the IGM-1100x (support external antennas), as well as capacity enhancements to its IGM-1100i (indoor version).

The offerings broaden outdoor and indoor deployment options for mobile network operators when a cost-effective, precise timing master is needed, including small cells and backhaul to eNodeBs for wireless service delivery at the LTE network edge.

“Last year, our innovative IGM-1100i solved the problem of providing precise time indoors where GPS signals usually cannot be received,” said Sri Purisai, vice president and business unit manager at Microsemi. “Today, backhaul to macro eNodeBs is one of the biggest challenges for network operators. Our expanded IGM portfolio solves that challenge by bringing the timing source closer to the base station. Microsemi is committed to continued innovations to solve the most difficult issues facing operators.”

The expanded IGM portfolio and technology flexibly addresses indoor and outdoor deployment models for mobile service providers increasing network edge capacity and coverage to deliver advanced wireless services in public hotspots, such as K-20 campuses, public transit and retail settings.

  • IGM-1100i (indoor version): With its integrated GPS antenna, IGM-1100i operates indoors without the need for a dedicated antenna, associated cabling and installation hurdles. With increased capacity now from eight PTP 1588 clients to 16 clients, the IGM-1100i now also includes support for Telecom 2008 and Default 1588 profiles and support for CLI over SSH.
  • IGM-1100o (outdoor version): Complementing the IGM-1100i in outdoor wireless deployment cases where extended temperature range and ruggedization are critical factors, the IGM-1100o integrates the PTP 1588 master and an outdoor GPS antenna in a single device. It can be installed at an outdoor location like a roof top or alongside other eNodeB antenna installations. The IGM-1100o Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capability makes rooftop deployment much simpler than over coax.
  • IGM-1100x (external antenna support): Designed for scenarios with a pre-existing GPS antenna and associated cabling, or when an indoor installation is unrealistic, IGM-1100x provides very quick and low-cost deployment of a PTP 1588 master by connecting to the existing cable via a simple cable installation to a telecom cabinet or hut. The IGM-1100x is the ideal solution for IEEE 1588 deployments of up to 16 clients with existing GPS antennas, with the TimeProvider 2700 supporting up to 128 clients.

The entire IGM portfolio leverages the same software, delivering consistent behavior and capabilities for each form factor.

“With increased smartphone usage worldwide, operators must leverage their spectrum more efficiently to enable more network coverage and capacity,” said David Chambers, founder of ThinkSmallCell. “Although network strategies vary widely — ranging from small cells, distributed antenna systems (DASs), spectrum re-farming, cloud RAN, eNodeBs and carrier Wi-Fi  coordination and interference mitigation within these heterogeneous networks are key to enabling new services, and this implies precise timing. Microsemi has understood that a portfolio of flexible solutions is essential, so operators can deploy the right timing solutions for their specific network architectures. Microsemi’s expanded IGM product portfolio is good news for operators and for the mobile industry.”

According to market research firm Infonetics, the first nine months of 2015 were marked by increasing small-cell rollouts all over the world and continue to point to double-digit growth. The firm expects the total small-cell market to hit $2.2 billion in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent.

The IGM product portfolio is part of Microsemi’s broad portfolio for LTE Advanced deployment, which includes:

  • TimePictra,  a modular web-based synchronization management system that scales and evolves with operational requirements, monitoring the IGM family as well as other Microsemi IEEE 1588 Grand Masters;
  • Indoor managed PoE midspans, which allow upgrading the network to support PoE with virtually no downtime. The family includes products with port densities of up to 24 ports and 60 watts per port, to power small cells and the IGM-1100i; and
  • Outdoor PoE switches, hubs, midspans and surge protectors, a complete outdoor PoE portfolio, essential for the deployment of the IGM-1100o.
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