Why Is Nokia Optimistic about the ReefShark Chip?


Mar. 26 2018, Updated 7:33 a.m. ET

What is ReefShark?

Earlier this year, Nokia (NOK) launched the ReefShark chipset aimed at easing the rollout of 5G (fifth-generation) technology. Like its peers Cisco (CSCO), Ericsson (ERIC), and China’s (FXI) Huawei, Nokia is banking on 5G technology to drive its long-term revenue.

According to Nokia, this chip is the mobile network equivalent of its leading FP4 routing chip. Nokia believes that ReefShark can meet the densification needs of mobile operators in the world’s largest cities and can also increase sell-side throughput by a factor of three.

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Nokia claims that ReefShark is extremely smart and can leverage Nokia Bell Labs’ AI (artificial intelligence) innovations, which will lead to the optimization of radio resources and support network slicing. This should also lead to easier management of end-to-end network slices with the introduction of 5G technology.

Can reduce power consumption drastically

The ReefShark chip will be able to cut massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) and power consumption by over 50%, while baseband power consumption is expected to fall over 60%. According to Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri, ReefShark is “open with common interfaces and toolkits, allowing customers the opportunity to access its AI capability, implement machine learning and deploy their own algorithms in their networks.”

Nokia further stated that this chip is easy to deploy because it needs to be plugged into the company’s AirScale unit. The chip is likely to be available by 3Q18.


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