Linux-ready 4G base-station SoCs begin sampling  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Freescale Semiconductor has begun sampling the first system on chips (SoCs) built on its Linux-ready QorIQ Qonverge architecture for femtocell and picocell 4G base stations. The QorIQ Qonverge PSC9130/31 (femotecells) and PSC9132 (picocells) SoCs support up to 16 and 64 simultaneous users respectively, and simultaneously support multiple air interfaces, including LTE, WiMAX UMTS, WCDMA (HSPA+), and CDMA, says the company.

Linux-ready 4G base-station SoCs begin sampling

Announced in February, the QorIQ Qonverge architecture offers a scalable line of processors built on a single architecture, enabling OEMs to reuse software regardless of cell size, says Freescale. By integrating communications processing, digital signal processing, and wireless acceleration technologies on a single SoC, QorIQ Qonverge avoids the cost and complexity of integrating separate FPGAs, ASICs, DSPs, and CPUs on a single device, while also reducing power consumption and footprint, the company adds.

The processors are related to the company's QorIQ processors , sharing the same e500 cores and offering other similarities. However, the QoriQ processors, which have often been deployed in base station designs along with Freescale's StarCore and Maple baseband chips, were significantly re-engineered, according to Freescale.

The PSC9130/31 femtocell SoCs support between eight to 16 simultaneous users, while the PSC9132 picocell/enterprise SoC devices support up to 64 simultaneous users, says Freescale. The processors support air interfaces, including LTE (FDD/TDD), WCDMA (HSPA+) WiMAX UMTS and CDMA, says the company. Newly revealed features include support for GPS synchronization and 2G/3G sniffing.

Linux-ready 4G base-station SoCs begin sampling

QorIQ Qonverge PSC9130/31 block diagram

The PSC9130/31 models each combine a single e500 core, StarCore SC3850 DSP, Maple B2P accelerator, and a security engine connected by a multicore fabric, says the company (see diagram above). The SoCs are said to support simultaneous multimode and 2x2 MiMO, and offer a single 64-bit DDR3 memory channel, security and trust architecture, multiple timing sources, and an antenna interface.

The Picocell-oriented PSC9132, meanwhile, doubles up with dual e500 and StarCore SC3850 cores (see diagram below). The SoC moves up to 2x4 MiMO support, as well as MiMo equalization functionality, says Freescale. The PSC9132 offers dual DDR3 channels instead of one, and supplies both local and remote antenna interfaces. Additional interfaces are also supplied, including PCI Express expansion.

Linux-ready 4G base-station SoCs begin sampling

QorIQ Qonverge PSC9132 block diagram

Freescale offers multimode RF products that can be added to the PSC9130/PSC9131 SoCs products for femtocell applications. Designed to operate in all UMTS frequency bands, the MMZ09312B, MMA20312B and MMA25312B power amplifiers are based on InGaP heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) technology, says the company. In addition, Freescale’s MML09211H and MML20211H low-noise amplifiers are said to be available.

A PSC9131 reference design board, planned for availability in the fourth quarter, incorporates the processors, memory interfaces, and most peripheral functions, says Freesacle. A PSC9132 QorIQ Qonverge development system is also planned for availability at that time.

In February, when QorIQ Qonverge was announced, Mentor Graphics was said to be developing the Linux board support package (BSP). Freescale will offer software migration tools, as well as CodeWarrior software development tools. The latter are said to include a new Eclipse IDE, trace and profile, SmartDSP OS, debugger, and C/C++ compiler.

Wireless telecommunications companies in the U.S. could invest $25 billion to $53 billion in 4G cellular wireless networks between 2012 and 2016, according to a report released this week from Deloitte .

Stated Scott Aylor, director and general manager of Freescale’s Wireless Access Division, "Availability of the first QorIQ Qonverge products is a milestone for the wireless industry, which is in dire need of innovative new solutions to address challenging power requirements and exploding demand for additional bandwidth."


Freescale is currently sampling QorIQ Qonverge products to select customers. More information may be found at Freescale's QorIQ Qonverge mini-site .

This entry was posted on 3:21 PM .