SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ceva Inc. is driving its DSP technology toward wireless basestations and other high-end products with a set of new floating point and multicore features.
Ceva (Mountain View, Calif.) has added capabilty to handle up to 32 floating-point operations per clock cycle to to its CEVA-XC vector processor unit. The feature enables handling jobs such as MIMO antenna processing including 4 by 4 configurations for 802.11ac Wi-Fi at up to 1.7 Gbits/second, Ceva claims.
In addition, it added a range of multicore features for symmetric and asymmetric clusters running at up to a GHz including support for cache coherency in DSP and mixed DSP and MPU clusters. Ceva's approach builds on ARM AXI4 interconnect protocol and AMBA 4 ACE cache coherency extensions. The company also provided enhancements aimed to simplify programming multicore clusters.
Many of the technologies are aimed at basestation ASICs and SoCs. "We have 11 design wins in infrastructure including chips at Mindspeed, Broadcom, Samsung and one of the top five OEMs," said Eyal Bergman, a vice president of product marketing at Ceva. "Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE and Samsung all do their own baseband ASICs and we work with both OEMs and merchant chip designers," he said.
Like many suppliers to infrastructure OEMs, Ceva sees an emerging opportunity in so-called small cell basestations now in trials. The systems are aimed at enhancing capacity in crowded metro environments.
"It is going to be an enormous market in two years time," said Eran Briman, vice president of marketing at Ceva. "There is a lot of interest and a lot of design starts with some big players including Broadcom and Qualcomm, [so small cells are] going into mass markets," he said.
Intel is a licensee of Ceva’s DSP technology. The x86 giant said it will roll out this year a co-processor for its Xeon server chips that handles signal processing, targeting basestations. It is working with China Mobile on a concept called Cloud Radio Access Networks that pools much of the basestation processing work in large, centralized server farms.
"They want to centralize processing all way from L1 in server farms and leave the analog front end in the field — it’s a different network," said Briman.
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