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Freescale introduces industry's first multimode wireless base station processor family that scales from small to large cells

February 15, 2011
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Freescale Semiconductor – the communications processing leader and provider of industry-leading DSP technology – is transforming the future of wireless infrastructure equipment with the introduction of a highly integrated base station-on-chip portfolio built on advanced heterogeneous multicore technology. Freescale’s new QorIQ Qonverge series is the first scalable family of products sharing the same architecture to address multi-standard requirements spanning from small to large cells.

The explosion of smart connected devices with increasing data and video content has created a mobile data tsunami, requiring OEMs and carriers to dramatically boost network performance while controlling capital expenditure costs, increasing power efficiency and supporting the emergence of 4G technologies.

The QorIQ Qonverge portfolio of base station-on-chip products is based on a common architecture and integrates communications processing, digital signal processing and wireless acceleration technologies into a single system-on-chip in various configurations optimized for next-generation femtocell, picocell, metrocell and macrocell base stations. Advanced process technology and exceptional integration allow the convergence of multiple functions traditionally performed on separate FPGAs, ASICs, DSPs and processors to be incorporated on a single device. This integration lowers part counts and delivers significant power, cost and footprint reductions for base stations. The common architecture spanning from femto cells to macro cells optimizes R&D investments and software reuse.

“The current explosion in mobile data traffic worldwide provides unique challenges and opportunities for wireless infrastructure equipment providers as they race to increase capacity and capability,” said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Networking and Multimedia Group. “Freescale’s highly integrated QorIQ Qonverge portfolio enables base station manufacturers to provide a dramatic, step-function improvement in performance, power and cost in a single, flexible architecture.”

QorIQ Qonverge technology can deliver 4x cost reduction and 3x power reduction for LTE + WCDMA macro base stations, and 4x cost and power reductions for LTE + WCDMA pico base stations when compared to wireless infrastructure equipment powered by discrete silicon products.

“By integrating multiple industry-leading technologies into one scalable product line, Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge portfolio delivers significant innovation that advances the state of wireless networking at this pivotal time for the industry,” said Will Strauss, president and principal analyst of Forward Concepts. “The QorIQ Qonverge portfolio presents a unique solution and strengthens Freescale’s position as a processing technology leader in the wireless infrastructure space.”

Freescale leveraged its broad R&D scale, deep application knowledge of the wireless space and extensive IP portfolio to develop the new product family. QorIQ Qonverge processors combine multiple Power Architecture® cores and high-performance StarCore DSPs with a MAPLE multimode baseband accelerator, packet processing acceleration engines, interconnect fabric and next-node process technology. The portfolio’s products support multiple standards, including GSM, LTE – FDD & TDD, LTE-Advanced, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and WiMAX. In addition, the family’s flexible architecture allows support for evolving standards with software upgrades.

"Freescale’s innovative QorIQ Qonverge platform provides the integration, performance, energy efficiency and unmatched scalability that our new lightRadio™ product portfolio requires,” said Wim Sweldens, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireless Division. “Game-changing products like lightRadio disaggregate the base station between the network and the wideband active antenna, produce dramatic cost savings and need components that provide giant leaps forward such as Freescale’s new QorIQ Qonverge technology.”

“Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge product line gives us the flexibility to cost-effectively address the widest possible small cell market by providing a common architecture and multimode capabilities, along with the programmability for us to incorporate our own advancements,” said Michael Clark, Airvana’s general manager for femtocell business. “We look forward to working with Freescale to help accelerate the deployment of small cells in next-generation wireless networks.”

According to analyst firm Infonetics, radio access network base station spending is projected to be $197 billion worldwide over the next four years.

Complete solutions

Customers can develop best-of-breed solutions with ease by combining their own differentiated IP with off-the-shelf components from Freescale and ecosystem partners. Freescale has assembled a rich ecosystem of technology leaders focused on wireless applications. Products and services from these partners can be combined with third party tools, as well as Freescale’s CodeWarrior technologies and VortiQa application software. This ecosystem can provide ODMs and OEMs Layer 1 – 4 software, transport and security stacks, RF technologies, test and measurement capabilities and ODM solutions.

A development platform based on the P2020-MSC8156 AMC bundled with partner software and RF solutions is available immediately for rapid software development. In addition, Freescale offers a wide portfolio of GaAs MMICs and LDMOS RF solutions for consumer and enterprise pico and femto cells.

QorIQ Qonverge products

The QorIQ Qonverge portfolio includes four distinct products optimized for small cell (femto and pico) and large cell (metro and macro) applications. It also supports remote radio head and emerging cloud-based radio access network (C-RAN) configurations.

The first products in Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge multicore portfolio are built in 45-nm process technology and planned for availability in the second half of 2011. The products are the PSC9130/PSC9131 femto SoCs and PSC9132 picocell/enterprise femto SoC devices. Freescale plans to introduce portfolio members targeting larger cell (metro and macro) base stations built in 28-nm process technology later this year.

 
 
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