Electronic Design
Basestation-On-A-Chip Processors Scale To Picocells And Femtocells

Basestation-On-A-Chip Processors Scale To Picocells And Femtocells

Built on advanced multicore technology, the QorIQ Qonverge series of highly integrated basestations-on-a-chip from Freescale Semiconductor represents the first scalable family of products sharing the same architecture to address multi-standard requirements spanning from small to large cells.

The explosion of smart connected devices with increasing data and video content has created a mobile data tsunami, requiring OEMs and carriers to dramatically boost network performance while controlling capital expenditure costs, increasing power efficiency, and supporting the emergence of 4G technologies like Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX.

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

Advanced process technology and exceptional integration allow the convergence of multiple functions traditionally performed on separate FPGAs, ASICs, DSPs, and processors to be incorporated on a single device. This integration lowers part counts and delivers significant power, cost, and footprint reductions for basestations. Also, the common architecture spanning from femtocells to macrocells optimizes R&D investments and software reuse.

The QorIQ Qonverge technology can reduce costs by a factor of four and power by a factor of three for LTE + WCDMA macro basestations, as well as cost and power by a factor of four for LTE + WCDMA pico basestations, compared to wireless infrastructure equipment powered by discrete silicon products.

The processors combine multiple Power Architecture cores and high-performance StarCore DSPs with a Maple multimode baseband accelerator, packet processing acceleration engines, interconnect fabric, and next-node process technology (see the figure).

Furthermore, the portfolio’s products support multiple standards, including GSM, LTE – FDD & TDD (frequency division duplex and time division duplex), LTE-Advanced, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, and WiMAX. In addition, the family’s flexible architecture allows support for evolving standards with software upgrades.

The portfolio includes four distinct products optimized for small-cell (femto and pico) and large-cell (metro and macro) applications. It also supports remote radio head and emerging cloud-based radio access network (C-RAN) configurations.

The first products in the family—the PSC9130 and PSC9131 femto SoCs and the PSC9132 picocell/enterprise femto SoC devices—will be built in 45-nm process technology with availability in the second half of 2011. Freescale plans to introduce portfolio members targeting larger-cell (metro and macro) basestations built in 28-nm process technology later this year.

The PSC9130 and PSC9131 femto SoCs can support eight to 16 users (WCDMA, LTE, CDMA2K). They also boast simultaneous multimode, 2x2 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), the 1x e500 and 1x SC3850 processors, and MAPLE-B2F acceleration. The PSC9132 pico/enterprise femto SoC supports 32 to 64 users (WCDMA, LTE) and offers simultaneous multimode, 2x4 MIMO, two e500 and SC3850 processors, and MAPLE-B2P acceleration.

Customers can develop solutions with ease by combining their own differentiated intellectual property (IP) with off-the-shelf components from Freescale and ecosystem partners. Freescale has assembled a rich ecosystem of technology leaders focused on wireless applications.

Partners include Enea, Green Hills, Mentor Graphics, Aricent, Continuous Computing, Critical Blue, L&T Infotech, Signalion, and Tata-Elxsi. Products and services from these partners can be combined with third-party tools, as well as Freescale’s CodeWarrior technologies and VortiQa application software. This ecosystem can provide ODMs and OEMs Layer 1-4 software, transport and security stacks, RF technologies, test and measurement capabilities, and ODM solutions.

A development platform based on the P2020-MSC8156 AMC bundled with partner software and RF solutions is available immediately for rapid software development. In addition, Freescale also offers a wide portfolio of gallium-arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave ICs (MMICs) and laterally diffused metal-oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) RF solutions for consumer and enterprise picocells and femtocells.

Freescale Semiconductor

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