Picocom, the 5G Open RAN baseband semiconductor and software specialist, and iCana, a fabless semiconductor RF component supplier for the wireless telecommunications infrastructure market, have announced a new strategic partnership aimed at leveraging their respective capabilities to jointly develop a 5G Open RAN Small Cell radio unit reference platform. The 5G NR FR1 small cell RU reference designs will enable customers to bring their products to market faster, with greater efficiency and more cost-effectively.

The combination of Picocom's innovative digital predistortion (DPD) technology, specifically crafted for small cells, and iCana's DPD-friendly 4 W, 8 W and 20 W power amplifiers, realised in GaAs and GaN technologies, provides an efficient solution with reduced power consumption, complexity, size and cost while maintaining high performance and reliability.

Peter Claydon, Picocom president, said, "We're pleased to partner with iCana and create more opportunities for customers. Mobile operators ask us all the time to reduce power consumption and size. We are working with iCana on a new generation of Open RAN radio unit design to enable our mutual customers to do both. We've been in discussions and working with iCana behind the scenes for nearly two years, so we're excited to be able to announce the fruition of our work."

"We are delighted to work with Picocom on power-efficient small cell RU solutions," said Glenn Vandevoorde, iCana CEO. "Together, we will leverage the strengths and resources of both companies to provide a solution to the market with superior performance at a cost-competitive price point that can drive the expansion of small cell infrastructure."

The Picocom/iCana joint 5G NR FR1 small cell RU reference designs are targeted to be generally available in Q4 2023.