CoWare Unveils WiMAX Reference Library for Platform-Driven ESL Design

CoWare® Inc., the leading supplier of platform-driven electronic system-level (ESL) design software and services, announced simultaneously at the Wireless Broadband World Forum 2006 in Seoul, Korea, and the WiMAX World Europe Conference & Expo 2006 in Vienna, Austria, a new WiMAX Reference Library integrated into CoWare Signal Processing Designer (formerly known as SPW). Covering IEEE 802.16/16e standards, this library will allow SoC design teams using the CoWare platform-driven ESL design solution, to reduce time-to-market introduction by six months for every product generation. The CoWare solution allows optimization of WiMAX SoC implementation performance for the noise performance relevant in rural areas and interference performance in densely-populated areas, both of which impact the operator’s network capacity.

“We are happy to hear that the supply chain for WiMAX systems is now extended into the design tools area,” said Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum. “With CoWare on board, solutions that enable WiMAX products to be optimized at the algorithm and architecture level are now more readily available. It’s at these design levels where the network operators, who invest multi-hundreds of millions to one billion dollars for their networks, have the most to gain.”

“Complex standards like WiMAX are implemented on platforms which evolve over time,” said Johannes Stahl, director of marketing at CoWare. “We are glad to be part of the growing WiMAX community with our platform-based ESL design solution that enables design teams to rapidly deliver optimized WiMAX chips to the market.”

OFDMA – Much More Than Just FFT
When system engineers start thinking about Orthogonal-Frequency-Division-Multiple-Access (OFDMA), the most complex operation that comes to mind is the Fast-Fourier-Transform (FFT), a common digital signal processing (DSP) operation. While the OFDMA principle based on FFT is responsible for the reliable transmission of high-speed data over a fading channel, much more needs to be done to OFDMA to make it a scalable, efficient, and robust system for network operators and end users. In OFDMA, a whole range of randomization, data packaging, coding, and frequency mapping takes place, which is controlled by a large set of protocol parameters that need to be specified and verified. Also, support of multiple users and the allocation of resources of varying sizes from the OFDMA time-frequency grid to each of these users make OFDMA system design a highly-complex task. CoWare’s WiMAX reference library contains all OFDMA mechanisms and are ready to be used by designers; resulting in cutting their time from written specification to a working reference simulation by three months compared to having a team of two-three engineers developing all models from scratch.

IEEE 802.16 – Design Managers’ Challenge
Compared to other competing wireless access standards, such as ITU/3GPP’s 3G cellular standard, the IEEE’s 802.16/16e standard does not come with a clear set of minimum quality of service (QoS) targets. While the 802.16/16e standard contains a certain limit in overall and individual peak performance of the system, network operators will shop for the solution with the optimum performance. This is because additional performance translates into top-line growth (selling more bandwidth) or bottom-line savings (using less networking equipment). Optimization of the WiMAX receiver system, across the range of possible scenarios, is a daunting engineering task and has to be solved long before actual hardware becomes available. CoWare’s solution with the new WiMAX Library helps automate this task.

CoWare Platform-driven ESL Design
Platform-driven ESL design starts with the creation of new hardware and software components at the algorithm level. These components are often complex, signal processing functions bound to a particular standard, just as in this case for WiMAX. The algorithmic design includes modeling and performance simulation, as well as fixed-point optimization, specifically for hardware components. The new WiMAX Library for CoWare Signal Processing Designer provides ready-to-use reference systems, all delivered with source code, from which design teams can start to add their particular implementations and optimize them in the overall system context by executing Signal Processing Designer simulations on a server farm. After that, Signal Processing Designer can package an entire subsystem into a SystemC peripheral model for CoWare Platform Architect where it is used for system-on-chip platform exploration and validation.

Furthermore, algorithms designed with CoWare Signal Processing Designer are often implemented as programmable accelerators using CoWare Processor Designer. This integration into the CoWare design solution makes the new WiMAX Library a very powerful enabler for design teams that cuts six months off the overall schedule from specification to working products.

Availability and Pricing
CoWare Signal Processing Designer WiMAX Library is available today. For pricing information please contact the CoWare sales office. The FREE trial version can be downloaded, and more information on CoWare Signal Processing Designer and CoWare’s other products can be obtained at online.

About CoWare
CoWare is the leading supplier of platform-driven electronic system-level (ESL) design software and services. CoWare offers a comprehensive set of ESL solutions that enable electronics companies to “differentiate by design” through the creation of system IP including embedded processors, on-chip buses, and DSP algorithms; the architecture of optimized system-on-chip (SoC) platforms; hardware/software co-design; and virtual hardware platforms for device software development. The company’s solutions are based on open industry standards including SystemC. CoWare’s customers are major systems, semiconductor, and IP companies in the market where consumer electronics, computing, and communications converge. CoWare’s corporate investors include ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)], Cadence Design Systems (Nasdaq: CDNS), STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), and Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE). CoWare is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and has offices around the world.

About the WiMAX Forum
The WiMAX Forum is an industry-led, non-profit corporation formed to help promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products using the IEEE 802.16 and ETSI HiperMAN wireless MAN specifications. The Forum’s goal is to accelerate the introduction of these devices into the marketplace. WiMAX Forum Certified(TM) products will be fully interoperable and support Metropolitan Broadband Fixed, Portable, and Mobile Applications.

CoWare is a registered trademark of CoWare, Inc. WiMAX Forum and WiMAX Forum Certified are trademarks of the WiMAX Forum.