Sunday, June 17, 2012

Freescale Expands QorIQ Qonverge Base Station-on-Chip for Metro Cells

Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its line of QorIQ Qonverge base station silicon with a new processor designed for LTE, LTE Advanced and WCDMA (HSPA+) for up to 250 users in a metro cell.

The new QorIQ Qonverge B4420 baseband processor, which is built on 28nm process technology and Fre escale's common QorIQ base station architecture, is designed for high-capacity metropolitan areas and enhanced outdoor coverage where macrocell coverage is insufficient. It provides up to two 20 MHz LTE sectors, 600 Mbps of throughput and relay support with optimal power/cost ratios. The metrocell B4420 is software-compatible with the small cell and macrocell members of the QorIQ Qonverge portfolio, and it is package- and pin-compatible with the QorIQ Qonverge B4860 device.

The B4420 integrates two dual-threaded Power Architecture e6500 processor cores running at 1.6 GHz and two StarCore digital signal processor (DSP) SC3900 flexible vector processor cores running at 1.2 GHz, along with the ultra-high performance Multi-Accelerator Platform Engine for Baseband (MAPLE-B) for Layer-1 acceleration, and accelerators for Layer-2 and transport processing. Freescale plans to offer samples of QorIQ Qonverge B4420 devices in Q3 2012.

"Our first generation of QorIQ Qonverge base station-on-chip devices will help transform the future of wireless infrastructure equipment, delivering the technology required to help ramp up LTE, while reducing cost and future-proofing new WCDMA deployments," said Scott Aylor, general manager of Freescale’s Wireless Access Division. "Our new B4420 baseband processors give base station OEMs access to the industry’s most scalable single-chip solutions for feature-rich micro- and metro-carrier deployed base stations." February 2012, Freescale Semiconductor unveiled its first large cell base station-on-chip built on its QorIQ Qonverge multimode platform. The QorIQ Qonverge B4860 baseband processor, which is expected to begin sampling in Q2, supports LTE, LTE-Advanced and WCDMA standards. It is implemented in 28nm technology and offers more than 21 GHz of raw programmable performance. The macrocell SoC integrates four dual-thread, 64-bit e6500 Power Architecture cores with AltiVec SIMD engines running at up to 1.8 GHz. The e6500 core is ideal for Layer 2, control and transport processing, and incorporates an enhanced version of the proven, high performance and widely adopted AltiVec vector processing unit, which boosts performance for Layer 2 scheduling algorithms. The e6500 core has achieved the highest CoreMark® benchmark performance-per-watt profile ever recorded for an embedded processor. The B4860 also integrates six all-new, high performance SC3900 StarCore FVP cores running at 1.2 GHz. Together, these technologies provide a balanced, programmable architecture for all baseband digital processing layers for next-generation base stations.

The macro base station chip extends Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge small cell products, which were first introduced a year ago. The QorIQ Qonverge portfolio shares a common architecture integrating Power Architecture microprocessors, StarCore digital signal processors and wireless acceleration technologies on a single chip.

Freescale notes that the new B4860 is one of the first single-chip LTE base station products to support three sectors of 20 MHz, and is designed to replace today’s channel cards that can include up to six discrete devices. In addition to simplified design and board-level efficiency resulting from reduced part counts, the B4860 provides 4x cost reduction and 3x power reduction compared to similarly deployed discrete solutions. The chip also supports Multi-RAT (i.e. multi-standard) and Multimode (i.e. LTE-A, LTE and WCDMA) standards simultaneously.

The company cited Fujitsu and Alcatel-Lucent as lead customers for the key technologies powering the QorIQ Qonverge B4860 baseband processor. Alcatel Lucent is already planning lightRadio base station designs built on Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge B4860.