ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: "These quite astounding numbers demonstrate the power of live cricket to connect and engage more deeply with diverse audiences around the world. The theatre and drama of live cricket is compelling and the added jeopardy of tournament cricket enables our sport to cut through and aggregate audiences like never before even in our increasingly fragmented world. Locally in participating countries the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup also demonstrated the scale cricket has to engage fans in a number of markets. In the host country, the tournament reached a unique audience of 24 million across live and highlights coverage with the final becoming the most watched game of cricket in the United Kingdom.
Millions of fans are expected to be watching via live stream. This will put the content delivery networks and communications infrastructure which enables this technology on overtime. Live events are major growth areas for streaming services, as are the events themselves. Yet consumers demand more than a grainy image moving across their screens.
High definition streaming at 4k and in the future 8k, degree viewing and 3D formats, and augmented and virtual reality media are either coming or are now here.
These create serious challenges for data transmission.
That challenge is multiplied when millions of users at the same time are accessing the same live content. Live streaming has 3 times more viewership than its non-live counterparts source: Facebook, Considering the challenges that live event streaming creates for data transmission, a simple metaphor to use is that of a busy highway system: the congested artery is usually found at rush hour in high density metro areas, specifically at the beginning and end of the day and during weekdays.
If the jam stops or slows down traffic too much, users will drop and the revenue along with it. The supply chain and technology needed to deliver a high-quality IPL Final live stream is immense and complex: switching, routing, amplifying, converting, transmitting, receiving, and storing in fractions of a second, simultaneously, cost-effectively, and safely, through hundreds of millions of devices.
We will now purposely turn this conversation to a specific area of the potential traffic jam itself—the transceivers, switches, fiber in and out of the data center, and wireless amplification technology needed to deliver high quality live events directly to the user.
Given the increasing demands of video image quality, nearly every connection in and out of the data center today is optoelectronic a combination of electricity and light to move, decode, recode and transmit information ; this is in place of the previous copper transmit technology which cannot handle current bandwidth requirements.
Optically is the only way to transmit the amount of information required, at speed, and to millions of users at the same time. In addition to QAM, baud rate or symbol rate serves to couple bits into symbols so that more information can be sent in each modulation phase.
The below table shows how QAM modulation progresses, increasing the amount of information that can be transmitted. The IPL fan on his handset is getting the match from a wireless signal.
That signal is coming from closest RF wireless base station not the data center or its servers. This means that the RF wireless amplification technology must be keeping up with the innovations in servers, CDNs, fiber optics, active optical cables and optical transmission devices technologies.
And they in turn must be keeping up with the media and information demands of its paying customers. In the context of the technology described above, below is a simplified illustration of how the IPL content generator is getting the live stream to fans: There are many other supporting technologies not covered which are required to make this IPL match live stream possible.
Consumer demands for high-quality live content create a tremendous challenge and opportunity not only for the streaming service itself, but also for Content Delivery Networks CDNs , Network Equipment Manufacturers NEMs , Optical device manufacturers and RF wireless amplifier device manufacturers.
Behind all of these is a vast array of design, fabrication, testing, assembly, and packaging technologies who also stand to be challenged and rewarded if successful. If you take an event like the Olympics that has a wider global audience, the capacity required would likely be greater.
The optoelectronic, photonic and RF wireless devices must be able to handle this need for bandwidth and capacity at scale. The current transceiver standard within the data center is G and several companies this year have launched G solutions.
Yet cost per devices and cost per G still remain a pressing issue—both material and assembly costs. It is therefore bandwidth, performance, and cost that are the forces driving silicon photonics, advances in optical sub-systems, QAM, and baud rate.
RF GaN is critical for simultaneous live streaming capacity because it can operate at high frequencies, has better input power robustness, and more favorable thermal properties. For many years the factor holding back GaN has been cost; however, today we see several device manufacturers in this area finding ways to bring RF GaN device and packaging costs down to be at parity with LDMOS.
Palomar has developed several cost-effective assembly technologies for die attach , wire bond , and void-free vacuum reflow for both opto and RF device packaging. Ultimately, it is the pursuit of lowering cost per device material, assembly, test while improving performance that matters in the end.