Ericsson opens ASIC design center in Austin

Ericsson opened a new 5G design center in Austin, Texas, to focus on microelectronics and accelerating the path to 5G commercialization—and it’s no accident the Swedish vendor chose Austin.

Ericsson could have chosen California’s Silicon Valley or any number of other locations for its ASIC Design Center, but Austin is home to a lot of other processor manufacturers and Ericsson partners and suppliers.

“We will be very close to our partners,” Sinisa Krajnovic, head of Development Unit Networks at Ericsson, told FierceWirelessTech. “We are accelerating our development and our journey to 5G” and wanted to go straight to one of the world’s best ecosystems when it comes to ASIC, or application-specific integrated circuit.

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Such microelectronics are at the core of all Ericsson radio systems and can be viewed as processors that are specially made for the computation needs of mobile infrastructure. They’re also 100 times faster, more cost-efficient and less power hungry than a general processor in a personal computer, according to Ericsson.

The work done in Austin will apply to customers in the U.S., but it will be a global product that Ericsson intends to develop, Krajnovic said. The company has started recruitment and hopes to have 30 designers and architects by the end of the year and 80 by mid-2018.

Ericsson already has a lot of competency in ASIC design, mostly centered in Sweden. Many of its experts from Sweden have been in Austin the past several months to get things up and running. The center is located in Austin’s tech neighborhood, and it will be working on making faster, better and greener 5G products to bring into the Ericsson portfolio by 2019.

“We did analysis across the whole world,” Krajnovic explained, as Ericsson seeks to strengthen its position. Austin happens to be one of the fastest growing cities. “We had considered several places seriously and our choice was Austin for this.”  

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