Wintegra Rolls Out WinMax for Mobile WiMAX Basestations

Wintegra(TM), the fabless semiconductor company enabling the next generation of access networks, has announced the launch of WinMax, a family of single chip processors and associated software for WiMAX basestation (BTS) applications. The WinMax family provides an integrated silicon and software solution for the MAC (Media Access Control) and transport functions of mobile WiMAX basestations, and offers a common architecture that is scalable from cost-effective picostations up to multi-sector macro basestations supporting advanced features such as adaptive antenna system (AAS) and MIMO. The WinMAX family has market leading subscriber density, multiple sector support and available performance for rapidly evolving 802.16e WiMAX basestations.

With its innovative features, WinMax can provide a number of advantages to the WiMAX BTS designer over other approaches that may use ASICs, FPGAs or RISC processors. WinMax provides a solution that is cost-competitive with ASICs, yet offers the unique benefit of full programmability, field upgradeability (to meet evolving standards), and a full family of pin-compatible, SW compatible parts.

Data path and control path implementation mean that the MAC and other components are implemented as a set of building blocks, which can be customized by the designer to meet the demand for advanced features such as AAS, MIMO and subchannel diversity requirements. This flexibility extends to future enhancements and standards such as wav-2, 16j relay stations, 16h for unlicensed frequency bands and the 16m next generation mobile network standard.

The WinMax system is a true software-based solution executed on the WinMax Access Packet Processor. The WinMax processor itself is based on the recently introduced WinPath2 family of processors, which utilizes the same data path software (DPS) and WDDI API software architecture as the company’s successful WinPath1 processors. Using the new processors, basestation designers will be able to realize any specific feature within the WinMax system without the need for a new system-on-chip (SoC) revision. Indeed customers have been developing software for their systems using a software-compatible WinPath device for over a year now. Some customers have already begun full mobility field trials using the Wintegra solution.

The features, performance and power characteristics of the WinMax devices have been specifically tailored to the needs of the rapidly expanding WiMAX market. WinMax features a flexible datapath engine architecture based on Symmetric Multi Thread Processor (SMTP) technology. It offers market leading density in terms of the number of sectors and subscribers per sector that can be supported. UP to 4 MAC instances can be accommodated on a single part and allows flexibility and future-proofing of basestation designs. The single chip approach, in combination with a common software architecture, allows the implementation of either integrated or separate transport interfaces. Integrated 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are provided, allowing the same software and hardware architecture to be extended across multiple products in a family that can encompass macro, micro and pico BTS versions.

A flexible interface to PHYs has been developed, which allows different PHY technologies and vendors to be supported. A previously announced reference design with picoChip gives manufacturers the opportunity to develop their product using an already working reference BTS implementation.

Colin Alexander, Director of Wireless Marketing at Wintegra, commented, “Because the WiMAX standard is still evolving, designers need a flexible platform to meet a wide range of needs in terms of functionality and performance. WinMax has been targeted at meeting this need, and is also cost effective in terms of both Bill of Materials (BOM) and development. We have customer designs where WinMax has removed between 5 and 7 other devices from the customers’ alternative designs. In addition, our silicon architecture and “SMTP superiority” offers scheduling and features beyond any other device. Our parallelism offers unique advantages other devices cannot provide. We intend to support the WinMAX system with a series of reference platforms that will reduce development time and thus improve time-to-market,” he continued.

Integral to the WinMax concept is a software suite of DPS modules that provide the user with a suite of low level (typically Layer 2 – 4) protocol and interworking implementations. DPS executes on a series of custom-designed RISC processor cores – collectively called WinComm – and are accessible from the on-chip host processor through a software API called the WinPath Device Driver Interface (WDDI). This architecture allows the control and data path functions to be integrated on the same device, with the host device handling termination and management functions, and the WinComm engine handling the switching, interworking, or backplane data path functions from the line interface.

The software features on the programmable engines and parallel hardware provide support for common WiMAX tasks, as well as accelerators to optimize performance. A number of optional blocks are supported by the Wintegra MAC layer, including: multiple programmable power-saving options, Payload Header Suppression (PHS), with 256 rules per channel identifier; scheduling and shaping (supporting all five traffic classes for both uplink and downlink); multiple priority class (supporting eight classes of service priority queue per connection); policing; security sublayer; multi-zone (support for multi-block – both FDD and TDD – configuration for the OFDMA frame builder, and dynamic channel assignment for the appropriate block); and multicast/bicasting (for handover).

Additional features include support for multiple MAC entities, allowing multiple sector support on the same device as well as rapid channel mapping/handover between the entities, and deep packet classification of Layer 4 and above – for QoS, PHS and scheduling.

WinMax devices and software are in production and shipping today.

About Wintegra, Inc.
Wintegra is a leading provider of access processing semiconductors enabling the delivery of new services for the evolving communications network infrastructure. Its access processors and networking software provide the essential intelligence and upgradeability for infrastructure equipment to support the emerging networks based on the convergence of voice, video, data and wireless services. Wintegra-based solutions are available for a wide range of communication platforms such as wireless infrastructure, digital subscriber line, or DSL, Multi-service Access, voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, and access routers and are used by many of the leading telecom and networking equipment manufacturers worldwide.