Wireless Systems Design

WiMAX Reference Design Boasts Full Upgradability

Currently, WiMAX occupies center stage in the wireless industry. A large number of companies are investing in the development of WiMAX-ready technologies. Yet they've largely ignored the needs of infrastructure manufacturers. Realizing this gap, Airspan Networks, Inc. and picoChip partnered to deliver the first fully upgradable reference designs for WiMAX base stations. Their product, which is known as SoftMAX, implements the current 802.16-2004 WiMAX standard.

SoftMAX is a complete, end-to-end, software-defined-radio (SDR) solution. It is based on picoChip's parallel digital-signal-processing technology and Airspan's system design, software, and hardware expertise. The technology is being used in Airspan's commercial base stations.

By adopting SoftMAX, the telecommunications-equipment manufacturers that are entering the WiMAX infrastructure market can supposedly reduce cost and time to market. SoftMAX provides a standards-compliant, interoperable solution that includes support for such additional features as diversity, space-time coding, a variety of profiles, adaptive antenna systems, and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO).

The initial product is based on the 802.16-2004 standard for fixed and nomadic broadband-wireless-access systems. The software-defined architecture allows for a flexible upgrade path to future versions of the standard-in particular, the 802.16e version for mobile broadband access. This flexibility is critical because the 802.16e standard is not yet frozen. It also will help to fulfill the critical need for interoperability testing.

The SoftMAX product is available now. Contact the companies for further pricing information.

Airspan Networks, Inc.
777 Yamato Rd., Suite 105, Boca Raton, FL 33431; (561) 893-8670, FAX: (561) 893-8671, www.airspan.com.

picoChip Designs Ltd.
2nd Floor Suite, Riverside Buildings, 108 Walcot St., Bath BA1 5BG, United Kingdom; +44 (0)1225 469744, FAX: +44 (0)1225 469767, www.picoChip.com.

TAGS: Mobile
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