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TI unrolls early development ecosystem for LTE

Posted: 25 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LTE development ecosystem? packet-based LTE? 3G networks?

With the expansion of W-CDMA deployments, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) is looking beyond 3G to Long Term Evolution (LTE). A 3GPP initiative, LTE encompasses higher data rates and flexibility in frequency allocations needed to support IP-based applications coming in 2008 to 2012. To speed up time-to-market of LTE devices, TI has created a development ecosystem combining its wireless infrastructure-optimized DSP, software libraries and ATCA/AMC cards from systems developers Mercury Computer Systems and Silicon Turnkey Express (STx).

Media streaming in handsets
LTE, and the evolution of mobile communications systems, goes beyond the current GSM/EDGE and W-CDMA HSPA air interfaces. Current 3G networks support a mixture of voice and data traffic over the same circuit-switched network. Operating at peak performance, these networks can deliver speeds of 14.4Mbps downlink or 5.76Mbps uplink. Packet-based LTE is designed to offer peak speeds of 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink, making streaming media and interactivity a reality on the handset.

TI's development ecosystem provides OEMs a preview into how their systems can support the LTE air interface. Leveraging the TMS320TCI6482 and TMS320TCI6487 DSPs, TI has created a series of designs leveraging system-level benchmarks. These benchmarks illustrate various system architectures to support existing 3G standards, WiMAX and LTE. The software library capitalizes on TI's existing WiMAX Wave 2 compliant library, with a host of LTE-specific algorithms. This HW/SW package provides a starting point for LTE development and enables faster and easier development of prototype systems.

Base station manufacturers are also eager to evaluate the new standard. TI has partnered with system developers MCS and STx to offer ATCA/AMC-based development platforms that can reduce the OEMs' time-to-market. These platforms allow developers to quickly assemble a hardware test platform, mirroring a typical system including DSPs, a GPP and FPGAs. Using an AMC approach, separate cards with these devices can be easily connected and development can start before any final hardware decisions are made. Both the TCI6482 and TCI6487 baseband processors are available on AMC development cards.

Cost-effective path
"The broadband-class data rates of LTE will require high performance in a wireless infrastructure framework to support the new customer applications enabled by these networks," said Arnon Friedmann, software product manager for TI's communications infrastructure group. "The early development ecosystem will help carriers and OEMs formulate the most cost-effective path towards LTE."

The DSPs and benchmark configurations for LTE along with third-party development platforms are available today. The first release of the LTE software package will be available at the end of Q2 2007.

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