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Processors ease transition to data centric 3G+/4G

Posted: 28 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? femtocells? broadband? base station? 3G?

Transcede processor

Mindspeed Technologies Inc. introduces the first device in a family of SoC solutions targeting the low-power requirements and heavy processing demands of next-generation mobile broadband base station platforms, from enterprise femtocells to macrocells.

Mindspeed's Transcede family of processors helps provide the critical, structural underpinnings for the rapidly evolving mobile Internet, which has been called the next great computing cycle capable of delivering 10x growth in user devices, as compared to previous cycles. The Transcede processor family delivers a new class of high-performance silicon designed to meet the huge increase in base station diversity and computational complexity caused by the mobile internet's migration from a voice-centric 2G/3G mobile network to a data centric 3G+/4G mobile network. This new class of silicon will enable the development of a wide range of equipment, some for deploying services to a handful of subscribers and others for serving hundreds or thousands of subscribers. It replaces today's traditional approach, which combines a complex, expensive and inflexible set of general-purpose DSPs plus FPGAs and network processing units.

The Transcede family of products debuts with the T4000, whose processor cores run at 600MHz, with less than 12W power consumption, typical, and the T4020, with 750MHz processor cores and typical power consumption less than 15W. All Transcede family devices are supported by a complete software reference design to accelerate time-to-market schedules. The reference design includes a Linux board support package, and standard PHY implementation for LTE, WiMAX and W-CDMA, with associated utilities and test scripts.

"This is an important milestone for Mindspeed, as we take our deep expertise in carrier-class, multicore processing from our widely-deployed VoIP platforms and extend it to key initiatives in the rapidly growing wireless-infrastructure market, especially in China and other high-growth markets," said Raouf Halim, CEO, Mindspeed. "Wireless carriers are upgrading their networks to 3G and 4G so they can meet the growing demands of what IDC recently forecasted will be one billion mobile devices accessing the Internet over the next four years, while working with limited available radio spectrum.

"Our Transcede family of SoCs is the first to provide such a high level of integration aimed specifically at meeting this increasingly difficult challenge," Halim added. "Manufacturers can now build a wide variety of platforms, from picocells to macrocells that leverage the same Transcede device and Mindspeed's scalable software architecture."

The Transcede family of SoCs integrates 26 programmable processors into a single device, including two ARM Cortex A9 multicore SMP RISC processors, 10 CEVA DSPs and 10 DSP accelerators. The solution fully supports the complete processing needs of single- and multi-sector base stations using the W-CDMA, Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE time-division duplex, TD-SCDMA, and/or WiMAX air-interface standards. The Transcede family of SoCs can deliver three sectors of LTE processing in a single device, while still providing substantial processing headroom, allowing manufactures to deploy their own value-added features as part of an overall Transcede-based solution.

"Operators have spent billions on 3G, and are reaping the benefits of increased data revenue," said Alan Nogee, principal analyst with In-Stat. "Now, they are so worried about not having the fastest wireless network, that they will spend billions more on deploying LTE and WiMAX. These deployments will require all new equipment, rather than retrofitting existing equipment. It will be a major upgrade cycle, spanning the full range of femtocell to macrocell platforms, each of which will need to support multiple complex standards and technologies."

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