EET: With all due respect, today, there are many commercially available licensable cores and protocol stacks for LTE. How is yours different?
Kawasaki: Developing a new modem technology is no trivial task.
Barriers to entry still remain high.
Typically, you start developing a new modem technology in academia, work your way through a collaborative forum like 3GPP (The 3rd Generation Partnership Project) to develop a new standard. Those who participate in the 3GPP – our staff originally from Nokia are also active members – foresee where the new standard will land, perhaps five years out.
Then, you work in partnerships with network infrastructure vendors like Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens, etc., to match up the specs. They see the technology on the market three years out.
Then, you begin working with operators and build the network together.
Again, some of our Nokia veterans have established key interfaces with operators throughout the world.
By the time you sit down with your mobile handset clients to do business, much of the future direction (and the fate of design wins) has been pre-determined.
EET: Renesas Mobile earlier this year announced at the Mobile World Congress a new mobile application processor using a dual-core implementation of the ARM Cortex A9 MPCore and Imagination Technologies’ multi-core PowerVR series 5XT MP graphics technology.
That sounds a lot like many application processors we’re going to see on the market in the coming months. Where’s your edge?
Kawasaki: Before talking about the app processor itself, let me talk about the “cloud” era we are entering. The LTE network, at 100 Mbps, will essentially connect to cloud services not just smart phones and media tablets, but automobiles, game consoles, digital cameras. You’ll soon see every client device – well beyond a phone – with an LTE modem. Just as Qualcomm understands the telephone business, we believe that Renesas Electronics understands systems businesses. Our application processor will be designed into a number of platforms including cars, cameras, game consoles and other digital consumer devices – across the board.
Ikuya Kawasaki, CEO of Renesas Mobile Corp.
When do you expect to see an LTE modem designed into devices other than telephones?
2013 and beyond.