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Freescale: station on chip delivers industry's highest performance

Freescale Semiconductor is debuting its first large cell base station on chip product built on the QorIQ Qonverge multimode platform.

According to Freescale, the QorIQ Qonverge B4860 baseband processor delivers higher performance than other macrocell basestation station on chip SoCs supporting the LTE, LTE Advanced and WCDMA standards. The company adds that the chip offers 'unequalled' throughput and capacity, while being compatible with Freescale's QorIQ Qonverge small cell products.

The B4860 has been launched a year after Freescale announced its QorIQ Qonverge small cell series, as the first portfolio of multistandard products sharing the same architecture and spanning from small to large cells. The portfolio is built on a common architecture integrating Power Architecture microprocessors, StarCore dsps and wireless acceleration technologies on a single chip.

The B4860 macrocell baseband processor utilises Freescale's intelligent integration capabilities and 28nm process technology to deliver what it describes as 'a significant leap' in computational capacity, offering more than 21GHz of programmable performance. It integrates four dual thread 64bit e6500 Power Archicture cores with AltiVec SIMD engines running at up to 1.8GHz.

The e6500 core is suitable for Layer 2, control and transport processing and incorporates an enhanced version of the AltiVec vector processing unit, which boosts performance for Layer 2 scheduling algorithms. According to Freescale, the e6500 core has achieved the highest CoreMark benchmark performance per watt profile ever recorded for an embedded processor. The B4860 also integrates six new SC3900 StarCore FVP cores running at 1.2GHz.

"Freescale's QorIQ Qonverge macrocell products provide the performance, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness that OEMs and service providers need to help address challenges associated with the growing tsunami of wireless data worldwide," said Tom Deitrich, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Networking & Multimedia Solutions Group. "The QorIQ Qonverge B4860 macrocell baseband processor allows OEMs to develop differentiated products that help service providers ramp LTE, begin to deploy LTE Advanced and address the stringent cost requirements of WCDMA base station processing."

Freescale claims the B4860 is one of the first single chip LTE base station products to support three sectors of 20MHz, and is designed to replace today's channel cards that can include up to six discrete devices. The company adds that the B4860 provides 4x cost reduction and 3x power reduction compared to similarly deployed discrete solutions. It is said to be one of the only solutions on the market that supports a true macro base station capable of processing from antenna IQ samples to backhaul IP network, and one of the first SoCs to comply with the LTE Advanced standard (3GPP). It also supports Multi-RAT (i.e. multi-standard) and Multimode (i.e. LTE-A, LTE and WCDMA) standards simultaneously.

Sampling of QorIQ Qonverge B4860 devices is expected in Q2 2012.

Chris Shaw

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