Freescale and Wavesat to Create WiMAX Reference Platform

Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL, FSL.B) and Wavesat, a leading supplier of WiMAX chipsets, software and development tools, are collaborating to deliver a comprehensive reference platform solution for WiMAX-enabled customer premises equipment (CPE). The two companies are demonstrating the WiMAX CPE solution at the Freescale Technology Forum this week.

“The combined WiMAX CPE reference platform from Freescale and Wavesat is designed to enable a converged wired/wireless business and residential gateway solution,” said David Perkins, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Networking and Computing Systems Group. “With WiMAX gaining momentum around the world, turnkey platform solutions like ours are what the market needs to drive rapid deployment of broadband wireless technology in cost-effective CPE products.”

According to In-Stat, the number of fixed WiMAX subscribers is projected to reach 16 million by 2010, while mobile WiMAX subscribers will range from 15 million to 25 million. “WiMAX (and WiBro) have their place in the broadband world,” says Norm Bogen, director of networking at In-Stat. “All regions of the world are showing interest in fixed wireless broadband. We believe that Asia will be the largest market for WiMAX and WiBro, followed by Europe and then North America. However, no single region is expected to dominate shipments and subscribers.”

The WiMAX CPE solution combines Wavesat’s award-winning WiMAX chipsets, Mini-PCI design and CPE MAC software with Freescale’s turnkey reference boards. These boards are based on the MPC8349E and MPC8323E PowerQUICC(TM) II Pro processors built on Power Architecture(TM) technology. Optimized for business and residential gateways, the integrated CPE solution supports WiMAX Forum 802.16d-2004 certification. It also is designed for upgradeability to the IEEE(R) 802.16e-2005 standard for mobility in accordance with the WiMAX Forum ETG profile.

“Integrating our WiMAX Forum certified Mini-PCI and MAC software with Freescale’s PowerQUICC II Pro processor-based reference boards will provide our combined customers with a high-performance and flexible WiMAX CPE solution,” said Michel Guay, president and CEO of Wavesat. “Freescale sets high standards of performance, innovation and quality for its products and platforms, and we look forward to collaborating with Freescale on next-generation WiMAX reference platforms.”

Forthcoming WiMAX platforms are planned to include next-generation Wavesat chipsets and software and Freescale’s PowerQUICC communications processors, host processors and high-performance multicore digital signal processors based on StarCore(R) technology.

“We chose Wavesat’s portfolio because it is the most complete and powerful WiMAX Forum certified solution and features the only WiMAX Mini-PCI on the market,” said Nino Sampietro, managing director and chief technology officer of Telsa. “The platform integration with Freescale fits extremely well in our WiMAX product road map, enabling operators to benefit from today’s WiMAX solutions and evolve with the ecosystem.”

A member of the WiMAX Forum, Freescale is a leading supplier of high-power RF transistors optimized for the performance requirements of WiMAX base stations. Freescale also has engaged with leading WiMAX base station equipment makers, leveraging its scalable processors and 3.5 GHz RF power transistor portfolio.

Freescale WiMAX CPE platforms
Freescale’s MPC8349E and MPC8323E PowerQUICC II Pro processor families provide cost-effective, high-performance communications processing solutions for SOHO and home networking applications, including WiMAX-enabled residential gateways.

The MPC8349E mITX reference board is available now. Targeting the SOHO and small-to-medium business market, the reference board is optimized for business gateways that deliver IP-centric services. It features a 667MHz MPC8349E processor, a four-port USB 2.0 interface, a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, an on-board 4-port PCI serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) controller, 32-bit PCI and MiniPCI slots, a two-port RS-232C interface and a SATA hard drive. The board ships with Linux(R) 2.6.x with Samba on Flash. Offered in the mini-ITX form factor, the reference board makes it easy to design compact WiMAX CPE systems.

Reference boards for the MPC8323E processor family are planned to be available in early Q4 2006. The MPC8323E family features a streamlined version of QUICC Engine(TM) technology containing a single 32-bit RISC engine optimized for residential and SOHO gateways. When combined with Wavesat’s Mini-PCI card and MAC software, the MPC8323E reference boards are designed to offer a cost-effective, compact solution for WiMAX-enabled residential gateways.

Wavesat WiMAX solutions
Wavesat is the first company to have received WiMAX Forum certification for its CPE Design earlier this year. Wavesat’s award-winning WiMAX product portfolio is a complete and cost-effective solution supporting all the necessary features to design base stations and subscriber units for both licensed and license-exempt radio frequencies. It consists of a full-range of standard-based integrated circuits, software and development platforms supporting WiMAX 802.16-2004 certification and designed for forward compatibility with 802.16e-2005 for basic mobility. Featuring the industry’s only WiMAX Mini-PCI card and chosen by ODMs and OEMs worldwide, Wavesat’s WiMAX portfolio solution provides effective wireless connectivity for a wide range of network sizes and coverage from urban to rural applications.

Wavesat provides solutions for each WiMAX market segment:

  • Backhaul to DSL extension with 802.16-2004 Fixed OFDM solutions
  • High-speed connectivity for laptop mobility with 802.16e OFDM EvolutiveTM products
  • Full mobility with the upcoming 802.16e sOFDMA UMobileTM product portfolio for WiBRO/WiMAX applications

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE:FSL, FSL.B) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Freescale became a publicly traded company in July 2004. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale, a member of the S&P 500(R), is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2005 sales of $5.8 billion (USD).

About Wavesat
Founded in 1993, Wavesat Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company focused on the development and supply of baseband chips, software and development tools for WiMAX compliant systems. Wavesat is headquartered in Montreal, Canada where it conducts research and development activities. Wavesat is a privately held company. Key investors include BDC Venture Capital, Monet Capital, Multiple Capital Montreal, Pac-Link Management Corp., Skypoint Capital Corporation, Solidarity Fund QFL and Sunsino Ventures Group.

Wavesat is a principal member of the WiMAX Forum, a nonprofit corporation formed to certify the compatibility and interoperability of Broadband Wireless devices conforming to the 802.16 wireless MAN and ETSI HiperMAN specifications and to help accelerate the introduction of these devices into the marketplace.

Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. The Power Architecture and word marks and the Power and logos and related marks are trademarks and service marks licensed by The trademark, StarCore(TM), is used under license from StarCore LLC.