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Intel solution eases building out a WiMAX network

Posted: 13 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? WiMAX? NetStructure? picoChip? AdvancedMC?

Emphasizing a modular yet flexible approach to quickly building out a WiMAX network, Intel Corp. has announced the NetStructure baseband card that combines transport, control and baseband processing in a standards-based AdvancedMC form factor.

"Intel is driving a strong push for interoperability at the carrier level to accelerate network deployment and lower costs for equipment manufacturers," said Keate Despain, director of marketing for the modular communications platform division at Intel.

To that end, the card combines a PHY from picoChip with Intel's own media access control and IXP2350 network processor. The use of picoChip's processor array architecture allows what Keate calls a software-defined radio approach to WiMAX in that the card can handle both the IEEE 802.16d (fixed) and the more processing intensive 802.16e (mobile) standards.

The AdvancedMC specification enables the modular approach as it also includes Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) interfaces that allows it to accommodate whatever RF front end the end customer requires. Despain said one RF company, Ultra, is developing a radio for the military using the architecture. "They want it for quick deployment of field coverage," he said.

Intel promotes the card as being capable of three-sector, 2km coveragewith 255 users per sectorat a power consumption of 400W. Interestingly, figures on the potential data rates achievable under those conditions were not available. The card costs $3,500.

- Patrick Mannion
EE Times

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