Freescale grabs base station gold with dual LTE/WDCMA picocell

November 21, 2013

Bernard Cole-November 21, 2013

Demonstating the multimode capabilities of its QorIQ Qonverge single chip basestation SoC, Freescale Semiconductor said that it has been able to run its integrated VortiQa Layer 1 (L1) software with simultaneous support for both WCDMA and LTE on the QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 SoC.

It showed off these capabilities at the at the LTE North America event in Dallas, Texas.

According to analyst firm GSMA Intelligence, there are more than 1.5 billion WCDMA connections worldwide and LTE deployments are growing quickly, presenting challenges with frequency bands and getting infrastructure in place.

Wireless network operators want multimode small cells that combine 3G, 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi into one small cell base station with the goal of increasing capacity in highly trafficked areas. Equipment manufacturers have struggled to provide solutions that meet those requirements.

According to Stephen Turnbull, wireless marketing manager for Freescale’s Digital Networking business, the company is one of the first to bring both multimode-capable hardware and software to market. In production now, he said the QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 SoC is targeted at evolving microcell/metrocell, outdoor picocell, enterprise picocell and femtocell base station applications.

The QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 SoC integrates two e500 cores, built on Power Architecture® technology, and two StarCore SC3850 cores with the MAPLE-B2P baseband acceleration engine. The processor is a highly programmable device supporting a 20 MHz single sector LTE-FDD/TDD with 150 Mbps downlink and 75 Mbps uplink rates, and HSPA+ with 42 Mbps downlink and 11.5 Mbps uplink rates.

The processor supports a range of air interfaces, including LTE (FDD/TDD), WCDMA (HSPA+ and UMTS) and WiMAX, and incorporates glueless RFIC communication and antennae interfaces, eliminating the need for additional chips.

QorIQ Qonverge base station-on-chip products are based on a common architecture and integrate communications processing, digital signal processing and wireless acceleration technologies into a single system-on-chip in various configurations optimized for next-generation femtocell, picocell, metrocell and macrocell base stations.

Advanced process technology, said Turnbull, allow integration of multiple functions traditionally performed on separate FPGAs, ASICs, DSPs and processors. This integration reduces the part count, power consumption, cost and footprint for base stations. Having a common, scalable architecture spanning from femtocells to macrocells enables optimized R&D investments and software reuse.

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