Monday, February 27, 2012

TI addresses operators’ challenges with innovative new multi-standard SoC for ultra-high capacity small cell and ‘green power’ macro base stations

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN: Envision a wireless experience with maximum data rates and no dropped calls at cell edges. Envision limited service areas being a thing of the past. Envision lower costs and greener solutions for base stations. Now, envision the technology that makes all of this is possible.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) is unveiling the industry’s most comprehensive wireless infrastructure System-on-Chip (SoC), featuring an ideal mix of processing elements for both ultra-high capacity small cell and macro base stations. TI’s scalable TMS320TCI6636 delivers breakthrough performance, simultaneous 3G and 4G coverage and capacity expansion features that wireless operators and their users will love.

“With this new small cell SoC, TI has shown us once again that they truly are entwined with operators’ needs, and have a passion for delivering exceptional user experience,” said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst of mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, Infonetics Research. “Developers of wireless base stations only stand to benefit as TI’s TCI6636 shines in performance, scalability and power efficiency. As I’ve said before, TI ‘just gets it’ as they continue to deliver innovative devices based on their powerful KeyStone platform.”

Delivering a high performance solution for all, from small cells to macro
TI’s TCI6636 is the first LTE Advanced (LTE-A) ready SoC, supporting 40 MHz LTE, offering an ideal high performance solution for small cell base stations, while also uniquely serving as a WCDMA/LTE macro controller device capable of supporting a multi-sector macro base station.

It is architected to optimize the implementation of capacity enhancing features such as wider bandwidths, MIMO antenna configurations and advanced receiver and LTE user scheduling algorithms. The TCI6636 also supports simultaneous dual-mode, easing operators’ migration from 2G to 3G to 4G and lowering CAPEX/OPEX costs by eliminating the need for equipment dedicated to each standard and the need to perform physical upgrades in the field.

Based on TI’s new scalable KeyStone II multicore architecture, the TCI6636 includes the first and fastest quad ARM Cortex -A15 RISC processors, offering developers more than twice the capacity and ultra-high performance at half the power consumption of traditional RISC cores. It also leverages 28-nm silicon process to integrate a mix of processing elements including eight TI fixed- and floating-point TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSP) generation cores, as well as enhanced packet, security and wireless AccelerationPacs. Together these processing elements, with the integration of field-proven layers 1, 2, 3 and transport processing, and operation maintenance and control processing, reduce system cost and power consumption, leading to the development of more cost-efficient, green base stations.

Going super green for macro base stations
With integral ARM Cortex -A15 RISC cores and full featured packet and security processing, the TCI6636 takes on the role of a macro cell controller, capable of supporting multi-sector macro base stations and replacing expensive and power hungry network processors. For network operations currently using base band processors, such as TI’s TMS320TCI6618 SoC, the TCI6636 becomes the controller complementing its companion processors.

When network load subsides, often in the evenings, unneeded capacity of the baseband SoCs is placed in power off “night mode” with the TCI6636 assuming control of the entire load including the baseband processing load. Once in night mode, the TCI6636 drives macro base station power to new lows and performs all of the transport network termination and packet and security processing of a traditional network processor, as well as all operations and management functions. With built-in Ethernet, SRIO and antenna switching capabilities, the TCI6636 delivers further system level savings in power consumption and BoM costs. The end result is high performance for users and lower CAPEX and OPEX for operators.

The TCI6636 is code compatible with TI’s entire KeyStone multicore portfolio, as well as the TMS320C64x DSP generation, ensuring all previous software investments made by TI customers can be reused. This flexibility allows base station manufacturers to develop a wide portfolio of products at a lower cost, lower power, and in less time than with competing solutions.

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