For now, Renesas’ first LTE/HSPA+ modem chipset
comes with no DSP. It is using Nokia-designed proprietary logics for
LTE, in addition to ARM Cortex-R4 processor core for the modem.
Asked about the company’s LET/HSPA+ modem ICs
based on Nokia’s technology, Renesas’ Akao said, “We are neutral on the
choice of IP cores. As long as they are highly efficient, and more or
less standards-based, we think that’s the way to go.”
Moving forward, Akao said, “Together with
Nokia’s team, we will brush up, improve new versions and develop new
platforms.” He added that Rensas is hopeful in actively participating in
the standardization process for the next-generation modem development
While there are numerous options for
LTE-baseband DSPs: an in-house design, Tensilica, Ceva, NXP, Blue
Wonder, Cognovo, Coresonic, and Silicon Hive, “the options for Renesas
are three-fold,” explained Byrne.
switch to the DSP selected by Nokia; migrate Nokia's design to Renesas's
DSP of choice; or to switch to a neutral DSP,” he noted.
ST-Ericsson, for example, is
migrating Ericsson's LTE design, which likely used Ceva DSP technology,
to one based on a DSP originally from NXP, Byrne explained.
“My guess is that Renesas has Tensilica-based
LTE hardware, owing to the success Tensilica has had with NTT Docomo. I
have no sense of what DSP technology Nokia has been using in its LTE
It’s not just
What matters in the
upcoming LTE world is no longer limited to mobile handset design wins,
LTE modems will be integrated into myriad
Mobile Internet Devices – other than mobile handsets, Akao predicted,
thus enabling ubiquitous high-speed data connections for almost any
product. The LTE modem can serve as a catalyst for consumers’ “cloud
computing,” he added.
that as many as 280 million terminals will be integrated with LTE modems
in 2012 alone. Roughly 50 percent will be e-readers, iPad-like devices
and others – which are essentially non-cell phones.
Behind the company’s LTE strategy, Renesas is
committed to gaining a foothold in the growing wireless broadband
Byrne said, “An important factor will be how much interoperability
testing expertise Renesas gains” from this Nokia deal. The priority for
Renesas is to develop LTE modems that “connect to the world,” Akao
While some industry analysts asked why Renesas
is venturing into a market as competitive and uncertain as mobile
handsets, Akao explained, “Our focus is not limited to cell phones. We
think this will be a far bigger market.”