picoChip Unveils PC6532 WiMAX Wave 2 Femtocell Reference Design

picoChip announced the PC6532 Wave 2 femtocell, the next version of its industry-standard WiMAX basestation reference design. Femtocell access points are optimized for deployment inside buildings to improve coverage and data rates. The new PC6532 WiMAX femtocell is the industry’s only single-chip (PHY + MAC) reference design to support WiMAX Wave 2 and full IO-MIMO in both downlink and uplink.

Like its predecessor, the Wave 1 PC6530, the new reference design integrates full PHY and MAC into a single picoArray-based PC205 processor. The PC6532 offers the lowest cost solution for a complete WiMAX Wave 2 femtocell, with seamless software upgrade for existing picoChip PC6530 Wave 1 designs.

The PC6532 supports Wave 2 and full IO-MIMO, with Matrix A and Matrix B downlink, and both MRC and UL-CSM uplink. Wave 2 is the latest version of the WiMAX standard, adding increased support for mobility, while MIMO (Multi Input Multi Output) increases data-rate and reliability by simultaneously sending and receiving data via multiple antennas.

“Once more, picoChip demonstrates the power of its software-defined architecture, and we are delighted to be working as partners,” commented Paul Senior, CTO of Airspan. “The efficiency of the single-chip solution is attractive, furthermore the ability to seamlessly upgrade our current Wave 1 designs to Wave 2 and full MIMO in both uplink and downlink, gives us a significant advance in performance and capability over alternative solutions.”

The picoChip WiMAX architecture is scaleable from femtocell access points to sophisticated multi-sector carrier macrocells with full support for IO-MIMO and beamforming. Both reference designs run on a single processor: the PC205 integrates an ARM processor for MAC functionality, and picoArray multi-core DSP for software defined PHY.

Stuart Carlaw of ABI Research, added, “It is clear that femtocells are an essential part of operator strategy going forward. Carriers are making it clear that this is even more true for WiMAX and LTE than it is for older standards. picoChip is a leading provider of femtocell chips and this announcement reinforces its extremely strong position.”

“The problem of good in-building coverage, and the opportunity for femtocells to address it, is becoming increasingly widely recognised,” commented Simon Saunders, Chairman of the Femto Forum. “With use of 2.5GHz and the business case for ubiquitous high-speed data this is even more important for WiMAX. The Femto Forum seeks to promote femtocells across all technologies and we are delighted our members are supporting these air-interfaces.”

The PC6532 is based on picoChip’s industry-standard WiMAX platform that has demonstrated the widest range of interoperability with third-party terminals through active participation at the WiMAX Forum Public Mobile WiMAX Plugfest for Interoperability events. AT4 Wireless (formerly known as CETECOM) is the WiMAX Forum’s approved testing authority for the certification of WiMAX products and uses the picoChip WiMAX reference design as the core in its protocol conformance tester.

The PC6530 Wave 1 WiMAX reference design is available now and has already passed IOT testing. The seamless software upgrade to the PC6532 Wave 2 WiMAX femtocell reference design will be available in Q2 2008.

picoChip is the leading supplier of multi-core DSP delivering extremely high performance at competitive cost points. It offers a powerful platform to develop products for emerging global wireless communications markets such as WiMAX, LTE, McWILL, TD-SCDMA and 4G.

In addition to WiMAX femtocells, picoChip is the leading silicon supplier in WCDMA/HSPA femtocells, with customers including ipAccess and Ubiquisys. picoChip is a founding member, and is on the executive board of the Femto Forum.