Software defined power architecture for 5G cellular: Page 2 of 2

March 30, 2015 // By Jessica Lipsky, EE Times
Next-generation cellular communications will require a drastic reduction in energy consumption, something researchers at Ericsson are calling “ultra-lean transmission.”
Chip makers have been delivering traffic managers in silicon for some time. Now the concept of a network-wide traffic manager is emerging for 5G networks. It will be tasked with managing power and bandwidth. At the Mobile World Congress, Chaesub Lee, director of standardization bureau ITU, questioned how current networks will be able to manage traffic when they are not “smart enough.” At the same time, researchers predict that data centers will soon be unmanageable as energy consumption increases.

Ericsson has already released software sets that have some traffic and energy management features including advance sleep modes for “always available” applications. Le Fevre hopes that next generation hardware would be integrated with Ericsson’s software in the coming years.

Even if software defined power architecture becomes standard in design management, Le Fevre does not anticipate a unified software platform. Many companies will likely develop their own proprietary software, especially when it comes to supporting 5G cellular.

“Different players in the silicon industry will want their software used. Also there is the system architect community who want their own software,” he said. “This is an area that is extremely difficult to work with…but maybe we will see people from the open source community starting to consider this area.”

Software defined power architecture for communications is still years away, Jading and Le Fevre noted. Although 5G was a major topic at Mobile World Congress in March, the industry is still in the research phase of 5G.

Specification work in this area will begin in about a year, Jading said, adding, “This is the first time we have knowledge to build in energy performance from the beginning.”

— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times

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