Lime Microsystems Debuts Reference Design for MicroTCA WiMAX Transceiver

Lime Microsystems, a fabless semiconductor company specialising in digitally configurable transceivers for the next generation of wireless broadband systems, has launched the world’s first reference design for a MicroTCA broadband wireless transceiver. Targeted at small cell WiMAX base station applications – femtocells and picocells – the transceiver has 6 user-selectable channel bandwidths from 1.5MHz to 14 MHz and can be digitally configured to operate in bands from 2 to 4GHz.

The re-configurable design supports a variety of network configurations, bandwidths and data rates. This minimizes costs and inventory for wireless system OEMs and operators.

Using a high level command set, the design can be configured for half-duplex and full-duplex operation in both frequency division multiplex (FDM) and time division multiplex (TDM) modes. The board can also be used as a ‘plug-and-play’ transceiver for rapid evaluation and deployment of WiMAX base stations based upon ACTA or MicroTCA standards.

The zero-IF transceiver uses 12-bit baseband ADCs and DACs. A 40MHz sampling rate is derived from a low-noise clock. Its serial RapidIO interface supports a throughput of up to 3.125Gbps and can communicate via any advanced mezzanine cards (AMC) ports. A single port carries both I/Q and control traffic and an I/Q record and playback capability simplifies testing. A full speed USB interface is provided for PC controlled standalone operation.

The development platform will be available from December 1, 2007 at a one-off price of $12,000.

Lime has been working closely with a number of leading companies in both baseband and RF amplifier technologies. Formal partnership announcements will follow in the next few months, and these agreements will enable Lime to support its customers in the development of complete base stations in which interoperability between the main circuit functions is guaranteed.

Dr. Ebrahim Bushehri CEO founded Lime Microsystems in 2005. His experience spans more than 15 years in managing design teams for the implementation of high performance ICs within the wireless communication market. Until setting up the company, he was with the Middlesex University of Microelectronics Centre (MUMEC), where he collaborated with organizations such as Nokia, Qinetiq and Fraunhofer IAF. Lime Microsystems has design teams in both the UK and Lithuania and has developed a patent-protected transceiver design that will reduce substantially the size and cost of next-generation broadband wireless transceivers. The company’s first semiconductors will be launched in Q1, 2008.