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DSP, ARM-based module enables low-cost wireless deployment

Posted: 06 Nov 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CommAgility? DSP? ARM? LTE? small cell?

CommAgility has introduced what it says is a low-cost, high performance ARM and DSP based processing card that packs two integrated wideband RF transceiver channels in a compact advanced mezzanine card (AMC) form factor. According to the company, the AMC-K2L-RF2 supports wireless baseband processing and a 2x2 MIMO air interface in radio test systems, small cells, and UEs for standard or specialised LTE and LTE-Advanced systems up to and beyond Release 10.

The module is highly flexible and can be used either as a complete baseband and RF small cell solution, or as a pure Remote Radio Head (RRH) with its CPRI interface linking to a separate baseband unit, the company noted. It can be deployed in a range of operating environments, including high density MicroTCA racks for C-RAN architectures, and as a standalone system with the optional micro carrier card providing I/O, power and cooling. This enables product development to start at minimal capital expenditure, while providing a platform capable of full deployment at low cost, CommAgility stated.


The main processor is the TI TCI6630K2L SoC, part of TI's KeyStone II generation of DSP and ARM-based SoCs. It includes four C66x DSP cores and two ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processors, all operating at up to 1.2GHz. The TCI6630K2L SoC contains wireless base station coprocessors that offload layer one and layer two processing demands to keep the cores free for receiver algorithms and other functions. A TI AFE7500 analogue front end provides flexible, high quality RF capabilities.

The module is optionally available with CommAgility's SmallCellPHY-TI and SmallCellStack, pre-integrated and tested to reduce risk and effort. A comprehensive DSP Board Support Library is provided along with a full SMP Linux implementation for the ARM cores, for easy integration of 3rd party PHY, stacks and customer applications with the card.

Multiple AMC-K2L-RF2 cards may also be used in a system to create higher-order MIMO solutions, for example two cards for 4x4 MIMO. A flexible range of I/O is provided to the TCI6630K2L SoC, including Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe and CPRI, providing connectivity to networks, host processors and additional RF.

AMC-K2L-RF2 block diagram

AMC-K2L-RF2 block diagram

The module operates over an extended temperature range of -40C to 70C with a conduction cooling option, making it suitable for outdoor and rugged applications. With a maximum power consumption of 30W in normal operation, it supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) deployment.

RF output power is up to 24dBm average and RF bandwidth up to 100MHz, over frequencies from 700MHz to 4GHz. Four standard build options cover the majority of LTE bands, with others possible with additional customisation. Using external cavity filters, the card can be directly deployed as an LTE small cell.

The AMC-K2L-RF2 will be available in 1Q16.


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