Electronic Design

Software-Defined Digital Radio Platform Speeds Next-Gen Designs

IMEC, the Belgium-based independent research center for nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, has validated the hardware implementation of its software-defined digital baseband radio for nomadic terminals. The design, called the Flexible Air Interface (FLAI), supports all radio standards from next-generation cellular (3GPP-LTE) to high-data-rate WLAN, WiMAX, and DVB (OFDM-MIMO-based). The FLAI consumes only 300 mW for the next-generation standard WLAN IEEE 802.11n using 2-by-2 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output with two input antennas and two output antennas). A digital front end using an application-specific integrated processor ensures very low standby power while supporting efficient "wakeup" on detection of an incoming signal.

The FLAI incorporates an in-house-developed heterogeneous multiprocessor system-on-a-chip platform An intelligent controller exploits the scalability and heterogeneity of the platform to ensure minimal consumption. The design also includes two processors for baseband processing and forward error correction. These processors were derived from IMEC's C-programmable Architecture for Dynamically Reconfigurable Embedded Systems (ADRES) using its corresponding compiler. The FLAI comes with a full design environment that allows industrial partners to efficiently develop their proprietary wireless software-defined radio platforms.


The chip tapeout of the FLAI platform (10 mm2 in 90-nm CMOS) is scheduled for the first quarter of 2007.


Contact IMEC for pricing information.


Visit www.imec.be.

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