Bath, UK — A Class 3 femtocell reference design, the PC8219E from picoChip claims a world first that brings femtocell technology to campuses, rural areas or 'metrozone' hot-spots. The turnkey solution builds on the company's field-proven robust PC8208 and 8209 PHYs to provide a complete extended-reach HSPA femtocell baseband. The device has already been delivered to customers and deployed by carriers.
The PC8219E's eight user capacity, 2 km range and support for vehicular mobility make it well-suited for low-cost, wide-area open access femtocell deployments in areas where carriers need to cost-effectively enhance coverage and capacity. Although femtocells are often thought of for residential applications, there is a growing recognition that the advantages they deliver, in terms of capital and operating expenditure, can be more broadly applicable.
Running on the company's current production silicon, already deployed in volume by OEM customers with mobile carriers, the PC8219E provides a seamless migration path to the PC3xx picoXcell™ SoCs. As such, it offers manufacturers an easy way to address this emerging market segment.
Simon Saunders, Chair of the Femto Forum commented, "The first femtocell deployments have been focused on the residential market but we are now seeing overwhelming interest in moving beyond the home."
Nigel Toon, President and CEO of picoChip, added: "We are already shipping in volume for residential applications, but this announcement demonstrates how femtocell technology is more broadly applicable. Given the prevalence of mobile devices there is huge potential to address the widespread problems of in-building coverage, to fix coverage blackspots or add capacity where it is needed."
The PC8219E is a programmable, flexible, easily integrated product that caters for multiple users, has self configuration features and backhauls via the internet. Featuring industry-standard FAPI and FRMI interfaces, as defined by the Femto Forum, the reference design also has fully-compliant security functions. The design includes a network monitoring function that allows the femtocell to reconfigure itself to behave like a handset receive chain, synchronizing with a macro-base station nearby, improving network planning and providing the basis for Self Organizing Network (SON) functions.
This new variety of mobile cells has been termed 'greater femtocells' or 'superfemtos'. Such products are similar to the 3GPP 'Local Area Basestation' or traditional picocells, but add the femtocell's capabilities to use standard backhaul and to self-configure for interference management. The Femto Forum has recently standardized femtocells into Class 1 (typically residential), Class 2 (primarily indoor for enterprise) and Class 3 (for rural, metro and wider area deployment).
For further information visit www.picochip.com.