LONDON Texas Instruments is upping the stakes in supplying developers of both residential and enterprise femtocells with a range of DSPs specifically targeted at the emerging 3G access point market.
Late last year, the chip giant surprised many in the femtocells sector –notably smaller chip groups specifically targeting the sector with dedicated basebands and SoCs – when it said it had already supplied its parts to several major femtocell makers that have supplied wireless operators with units for trials.
"We still believe, as we did late last year, that the market for silicon suppliers and OEMs is some way off in volume terms, perhaps beginning late 2010, but this is a good time to be launching dedicated products for both residential and enterprise solutions", Josef Alt, marketing manager for telecommunications infrastructure, EMEA in TI's semiconductors group told EE Times Europe .
"We already have design wins for these products, together with our software partners MimoOn (Duisburg, Germany) and Continuous Computing (San Diego, Calif.) ", Alt added.
The two new parts, which Alt stresses build on the TCI6484 introduced last December, are the TCI6485 with two high-performance 850MHz C64x+ DSP cores delivering 1.7 GHz of overall performance for residential femtocell applications, and the TCI6489 which includes three 850MHz C64x DSPs delivering 2.55 GHz of performance for enterprise applications.
The parts also integrate two lanes of Antenna Interface (CPRI/OBSAI) for analog RF connectivity, 2MB of L2 memory and dedicated accelerators.
Alt says the main difference between earlier designs is the addition of receive accelerator blocks (RAC) and Rake Search Accelerator (RSA) instruction sets for W-CDMA.
Both parts will sample in 3Q09 and start production in 4Q09.
The 6485 supports up to eight users while the 6489 supports up to 32 users. The entire product family is compatible with all major 2G/3G and 4G systems including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, WiMAX and LTE, and is code compatible with other TI DSPs for the wireless infrastructure market.
This, Alt stresses, means previous investments in macro or pico base stations can be reused.
The DSPs provide a complete digital solution for HSPA applications. They use software reference designs available from Continuous Computing and mimoOn, which provides customers with software for Layer 1, 2 and 3 wireless protocol processing.
Continuous focuses on Layer 2 and 3 functionality, while mimoOn protocol stacks target layer 1 (PHY).