Cambridge Consultants has become the first authorized design centre for picoChip’s multi-core digital signal processor (DSP), picoArray. picoArray devices incorporate arrays of DSP elements, delivering extremely high performance. This makes them ideal for the computationally-intensive tasks involved in advanced wireless signal processing, while also providing adaptability that can be employed to accommodate operational problems such as varying channel conditions, or changes in the service profile of the communications system. The devices are available in forms suitable for both infrastructure and user terminal applications, offering a powerful platform to develop products for emerging global wireless communications markets such as WiMAX and 4G.
Cambridge Consultants offers considerable design experience of the device gained on complex design projects undertaken for picoChip and third parties, plus a large design team that is active across the spectrum of wireless technologies.
“Cambridge Consultants has field-proven expertise with picoArray, which includes helping us to create sophisticated reference designs,” says Rupert Baines of picoChip. “Our architecture offers a platform that can reduce costs and improve flexibility in many emerging applications, and Cambridge Consultants undoubtedly has the expertise to cut time-to-market for new users. We are delighted to welcome them as our first authorized design centre.”
“The ability to dynamically configure DSP elements for application-specific computation, and parallel processing, makes picoArray an exceptionally powerful solution for the complex processing stages involved in applications such as WiMAX and 3.5/4G,” notes Cambridge Consultants’ Tim Fowler. “Our understanding of the ways to exploit this processing architecture, combined with our in-house software radio modelling and testing framework, allows us to provide expert support that can help define system architectures and shorten development projects.”
He adds: “picoChip’s existing reference designs and tools provide a simple to apply solution for major emerging applications. This service targets developers who wish to add value, or create entirely new product concepts.”
The very high performance and flexibility of picoArray devices opens up many applications in wireless communications, particularly in the evolution of major wireless system technologies such as 3G and WiMAX. Developers are continually striving to squeeze more and more capacity from the available radio spectrum. Among many new advances being considered to increase the capacity and quality of next-generation wireless communications systems are advanced data modulation techniques, air interfaces employing multiple antennas and beam-forming techniques, and multi-user detection. Techniques like these demand new levels of processing power, usually combined with a high degree of flexibility and reconfiguration – attributes that are at the heart of the picoArray’s multi-processor architecture with its reconfigurable datapath.
picoArray’s programmable processing elements are optimized for high-performance signal processing, delivering ten times better performance/dollar than legacy architectures. The picoArray may be configured dynamically for compute-intensive datapath operations such as filtering, FFT, path metric calculation and correlation. Devices also have enormous amounts of general-purpose MIPs to handle the ever more complex control operations of modern wireless systems.
picoChip, located in Bath, England, is dedicated to providing innovative, flexible wireless solutions to help equipment makers minimize time-to-market, costs, and system power consumption. The heart of the company’s offering is a scaleable, multi-processor baseband IC that combines the computational density of a dedicated ASIC with the programmability of a traditional high end Digital Signal Processor. This radically reduces both development time and materials cost and enables the strategic goal of the “Software Defined Radio”. The company has the most comprehensive reference designs in the industry, with complete, standard-compliant solutions for both UMTS (including HSxPA) and WiMAX (802.16d and 802.16e).
About Cambridge Consultants
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For nearly 50 years, the company has enabled its clients to turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of over 250 engineers, designers, scientists and consultants, in offices in Cambridge (UK) and Cambridge (USA), Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, automotive, transport, energy and wireless communications. Cambridge Consultants is part of the Altran group. Altran Technologie, which is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange (FR:003463), employs over 17,000 consultants in 20 countries around the world. In 2006 the group generated a turnover of 1,495.6 million.