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Date: 21st Jun 2011

TMS320C66x and ARM Cortex-A8 based SoCs for multistandard basestations of any size

Texas Instruments Incorporated has unveiled the TMS320TCI6612 and TMS320TCI6614, System-on-Chips (SoCs) for developers of metro, pico and enterprise small cell base stations. Based on TI's keyStone multicore architecture, these scalable SoCs consists of processing elements including radio accelerators, network and security coprocessors, combined fixed- and floating-point digital signal processors (DSPs) and an ARM RISC processor to handle layers 1, 2 and 3 and transport processing for high performance small cell base stations.

"Intelligent small cells are the future of public-space mobile data, but their self-organizing capabilities and high traffic environments place huge demands on processing power," said Chris Gilbert, CEO, Ubiquisys. "TI's small cell solution combines dual-mode 3G/LTE flexibility with massive processing power, and harnesses their unparalleled expertise in powering macro networks. We found a true roadmap partner in TI, not just a silicon vendor."

The TCI6612 and TCI6614's processing elements include two or four TMS320C66x fixed- and floating-point DSP cores, as well as a power efficient ARM Cortex-A8 RISC processor. The ARM core is typically used for control plane processing. The remaining base station functions, including all baseband and packet processing, are handled by the DSP cores coupled with configurable wireless, network and security coprocessors.

"As the mobile market continues to grow, the underlying infrastructure is experiencing greater pressures associated with form factor, performance and power consumption," said Ian Drew, executive vice president of marketing, ARM. "Texas Instruments' use of the ARM Cortex-A8 provides new levels of energy efficiency and higher performance to the small cell base station market."

The TCI6612 and TCI6614 SoCs are code compatible with TI's entire KeyStone multicore portfolio, as well the TMS320C64x DSP generation, ensuring all previous software investments made by TI customers can be reused.

The TCI6612 and TCI6614 SoCs offers set of features for the development of high performance small cell base stations, including: full LTE and HSPA+ data rate support, programmable capacity for spectrum optimization and enhanced coverage with high data rate mobility.

The TCI6612 and TCI6614 SoCs feature network coprocessors, which offload the processing of intensive functions typically performed by DSPs. This frees up MIPS for differentiating features.

"It's heartening to see that TI doesn't view reaching the limits of Shannon's Law as "fait accompli," said Stephane Teral, principal analyst of mobile and FMC infrastructure, Infonetics Research. "With their new small cell SoCs, TI has shown again the ability of the KeyStone architecture to unleash processing power for the issues operators care about. Spectral efficiency matters as much in small cells as in macro cells. TI just gets it."

By using equipment based on these chips telecom service operators can go for offering parallel execution of two standards supporting deployments such as WCDMA and LTE in a single base station. The TCI6612 and TCI6614 SoCs are pin and software compatible, offering manufacturers complete flexibility in designing simultaneous dual-mode and multistandard base stations supporting all major 2G, 3G and 4G systems including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, WiMAX, FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE.

Availability: The TCI6612 and TCI6614 SoCs will begin sampling in 3Q11. Solutions incorporating a digital radio front end will follow. In addition, Azcom Technology currently offers a small cell base station platform to kick-off development.

Learn more at www.ti.com/c66multicore

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