picoChip has today disclosed further details of the industry's first complete LTE basestation reference designs at the LTE World Summit in London. The PC8618 picocell and PC8608 femtocell platforms, respectively designed in conjunction with picoChip's development and research partners, mimoOn and ASTRI, will enable high capacity wireless networks for enterprise, metropolitan, "hot-zone", home and rural demands.
Targeted to run on picoChip's established PC203 processor, launched in March 2006 and currently shipping in volume, the two designs will support both FDD (frequency division duplex) and TDD (time division duplex) modes within LTE. They reinforce picoChip's belief that LTE is best delivered using small cells with self-configuration and self-optimization features that reduce operators' capital and operating expenditure while maximizing the capacity and efficiency of the network.
picoChip recently announced a number of "sniffer" or radio environment scanner (RES) reference designs that provide the fundamental measurement and reporting information needed for basestations to implement self-organizing network principles. The RES reference designs also allow network operators to deliver services based on a combination of 2G, 3G and LTE infrastructure.
Speaking at the conference, picoChip's co-founder and CTO, Doug Pulley, commented: "The bulk of LTE network traffic will travel via fine-grained networks of small cells. Small cells dramatically change the economics of building, owning and running cellular networks, and offer the opportunity to radically reduce the cost of launching LTE services. Paradoxically this may lead to a far cheaper launch than was the case for 3G: at the same time infrastructure providers will need to think and act in a more consumer-oriented way than they have historically."
Pulley also highlighted the speed of development of the LTE standard: "The industry has accelerated LTE definition at breakneck speed. With substantial OFDMA experience and IP already developed through our leading position in WiMAX, picoChip is ideally equipped to help OEM customers match that pace of development."
The PC8618 and PC8608 software reference designs will support both downlink and uplink transport and physical channel types required by 3GPP. They are aimed at OEMs requiring a single sector solution and are fully compliant with Release 8 TS36 series standards. They are the first products in picoChip's planned family of LTE solutions, implementing the 3GPP Home eNodeB specification that covers a range of requirements from user-deployed home basestations to metropolitan hot-zones.
picoChip is already engaged with customers for its LTE software reference designs and is delivering preliminary code. Because the designs run on production silicon, customers can use picoChip's existing range of development boards and software support to accelerate their end-product development and facilitate early trialing.
picoChip is the only semiconductor company focused solely on wireless infrastructure and shipping silicon. It provides baseband solutions to address the key challenges of cost, development time and flexibility for the next generation of wireless systems. The company's multi-core processors deliver a world-beating price/performance combination. picoChip is the industry standard architecture for WiMAX basestations, and is the leading supplier for the new wave of femtocells, with support for HSPA, WiMAX, LTE, TD-SCDMA, cdma2000/EvDO and GSM/GPRS/EDGE. The company's products scale from femtocell access points to picocells and sophisticated multi-sector carrier macrocells.