Munich, Germany: Memory specialist Qimonda AG recently shipped its first 512Mb GDDR5 (Graphics Double Data Rate 5) samples to customers. GDDR5 is expected to become the next predominant graphics DRAM standard, ultimately boosting memory bandwidth of graphics applications.
The GDDR5 standard is about to be finalised in JEDEC, where industry participants jointly defined this graphics standard over the last year. GDDR5 will be available with data rates up to 20GB/s per component, which is more than double the bandwidth of the fastest GDDR3 memories today. There are also power-saving advantages.
“We are pleased that we can support the GDDR5 activities of our customers with this first sample shipment, which is a major step to ensure the fast introduction of GDDR5 into the Graphics Market,” says Robert Feurle, vice president of Business Unit Graphics at Qimonda.
First products with GDDR5 memories are expected in 2008. GDDR5 is targeting a variety of applications, starting with high-performance desktop graphic cards followed by notebook graphics.
Transceiver reference design claimed as world first
Guildford, England: Lime Microsystems developed what it says is the first reference design for a MicroTCA broadband wireless transceiver. Targeted at small-cell WiMAX base station applications— femtocells and picocells—the transceiver has six user-selectable channel bandwidths from 1.5 to 14MHz and can be digitally configured to operate in bands from 2 to 4GHz.
The reconfigurable design supports a variety of network configurations, bandwidths, and data rates. The design can be configured for halfand full-duplex operation in both frequency- division-multiplex (FDM) and time-division-multiplex (TDM) modes. The board can also be used as a “plug-and-play” transceiver for rapid evaluation and deployment of WiMAX base stations based on ACTA or MicroTCA standards.
The zero-IF transceiver uses 12-bit baseband ADCs and DACs. Also, a low-noise clock helps deliver a 40MHz sampling rate. Its serial RapidIO interface supports a throughput of up to 3.125Gbps and can communicate via any advanced mezzanine cards (AMC) ports. A single port carries both I/Q and control traffic and an I/Q record and playback capability simplifies testing. Moreover, a fullspeed USB interface handles PCcontrolled standalone operation.
Lime says it’s been working closely with a number of companies in both baseband and RF amplifier technologies. Formal partnership announcements are expected in the next few months. These agreements will enable Lime to support its customers in the development of complete basestations, where interoperability between the main circuit functions is guaranteed.
Semikron and LSIS become partners in power
Seoul, Korea: A just-formed alliance will look to develop power electronic products for industrial drives and consumers. German power-module company Semikron International and LS Industrial Systems (LSIS) of Korea, formerly LG Industrial Systems, a manufacturer of factory automation products have signed a memorandum of understanding to offer LSIS integrated power modules based on Semikron’s MiniSKiiP IGBT platform.
LSIS will adapt Semikron’s integrated power modules with pressure contact technology, to be promoted to the industrial and appliance market. Semikron will adapt the control technologies of LSIS to develop application- specific systems.
Put LTE equipment development on the fast track
Paris, France: At the recent Freescale Technology Forum, Freescale Semiconductor unveiled a development platform designed to speed and simplify the creation of networking equipment for 3G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and other various emerging broadband wireless technologies.
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Freescale’s solution is engineered to provide the multi-gigahertz performance, low power operation, and interconnect technologies needed to support the high-data-rate air interface and IP packet-handling requirements of LTE basestations.
The platform uses Freescale’s portfolio of microprocessor and DSP technologies to deliver closely coupled Layer 1 and Layer 2 LTE radio processing. It combines programmable data-plane software with Advanced Mezzanine Cards featuring the MPC8548 PowerQUICC III processor and the quad-core MSC8144 StarCore DSP.
C-based data plane software seamlessly integrates the processors. This helps deliver the advanced features and scheduling algorithms essential to delivering low-latency, highthroughput LTE systems.
Alliance formed to help startups
Livingston, Scotland: The Institute for System Level Integration (iSLI) and Cadence Design Systems will join forces to help advance new businesses by giving them easy access to chip design software and methodology services.
Providing access to software design tools and methodology services will enable new companies who may not have the finance or resources available, to accelerate their product development processes. This gives them the potential to become successful in the shortest possible time.
“This joint collaboration is a natural step in the growth of iSLI as a centre of excellence for electronic design,” explains Tony Harker, CEO of iSLI.
“In 2006, iSLI announced the development of a software hub for entrepreneurs of the fabless semiconductor design community. The agreement with Cadence will help companies to commercialise their ideas faster.”