System-on-chip challenges the economics of small cells

System-on-chip challenges the economics of small cells

New Products |
By eeNews Europe

The new KeyStone based TCI6630K2LSystem-on-Chip (SoC) offers small cell developers a single hardware and software platform to address multiple indoor and outdoor use cases, as well as headroom to offer differentiated features and enhance their platforms as operator requirements continue to evolve.
Combined with TI’s Base Station SoftwarePac and new analog front end transceiver, the AFE7500, the TCI6630K2L meets the most stringent power and cost requirements of base stations without compromising performance and features.

“TI has demonstrated that it understands and is willing to respond to the recent challenges and requirements of our industry,” said Dan Picker, CTO, PureWave Networks. “That is why we have again chosen to leverage their latest solution in the newest members of our small cell product family. TI’s highly-integrated SoC and accompanying software allows us to realize our most aggressive product visions, get to market faster, and provides us the flexibility to easily adapt our designs to various operator requirements within a very tight power budget. The TCI6630K2L also has an unprecedented level of DRFE integration which, along with the AFE7500, helps us to achieve power efficiency and cost targets that would otherwise be unattainable.”

As the small cell market continues to evolve, operators are seeking out flexible platforms that enable them to deliver a range of products with a single SoC and software investment. The PoE+ capable platform enables OEMs to develop a scalable product portfolio of high-performance indoor small cells, for up to 128 users. The TCI6630K2L combines L1/L2/L3 baseband performance with a fully integrated digital radio front end (DRFE), enabling it to meet single band, dual band, simultaneous dual mode and carrier aggregation scenarios all within a PoE+ power budget. The TCI6630K2L also provides the headroom needed to meet higher end requirements, allowing operators to future proof and scale their platform for both indoor and outdoor deployments with a single solution.

The SoC is based around the fastest dual ARM Cortex -A15 RISC processors and four of TI’s fixed- and floating-point TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSP) generation cores as part of TI’s KeyStone SoC architecture. The PoE+ designed solution reduces power by integrating DRFE features such as crest factor reduction (CFR) and digital pre-distortion (DPD). TI’s TCI6630K2L and AFE7500 provide asmall cell solution that drives higher power amplifier efficiency, reducing the overall power requirements by up to 8W for indoor scenarios. Even at 125mW of output power, close to 2W of power savings per antenna can be achieved by the integrated CFR and DPD in the TCI6630K2L. This is especially important when trying to meet PoE+ requirements. Greater power and cost savings can be achieved for outdoor applications that require higher output power. The TCI6630K2L interfaces to the AFE7500 via a standard JESD204B connection, further reducing small cell base station board space by eliminating the need for external glue logic between the RF transceiver and digital baseband.

The TCI6630K2L also includes a network co-processor supporting transport capacities of up to 3mpps, enabling traffic aggregation and shaping of 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi combined transport. It also integrates a full 4-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch further eliminating the need for an external switch and other components.

In addition to the AFE7500, TI offers a broad portfolio of complementary analog components, including clocks and Power over Ethernet solutions for both ends of the cable. This places TI in a unique position in the industry to meet small cell challenges at a system level. With a longstanding leadership in base station technology, combined with its analog expertise, TI is providing a better wireless experience for all, from consumers to network operators to small cell manufacturers.

The scalable TCI6630K2L is integrated with TI’s high-performance Base Station SoftwarePac, a production ready small cell Physical (PHY) software package. By offering a complete PHY layer for single-and dual-mode LTE and WCDMA, TI has eliminated one of the most complex tasks of base station design. The TCI6630K2L is also complemented with pre-integrated DRFE software and a RF software development kit, allowing customers to seamlessly program all digital radio components, including DPD. TI’s complete software solutions allow manufacturers to save time, resources and budget, normally used in PHY and RF development, and to allocate those resources on customizing their small cell products according to different network operators’ needs.

TI’s completeTCI6630K2L and AFE7500 small cell solution will begin sampling in 4Q13.

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