picoChip announced that its WiMAX solution is part of M/A-COM’s recently announced 4.9 GHz VIDA broadband solution for Public Safety Grade Applications. This solution by M/A-COM, a business unit of Tyco Electronics, utilizes the standard WiMAX 802.16 protocol to deliver integrated, public safety-grade wireless broadband video and data services for mission-critical applications. Launched in May at IWCE 2006 in Las Vegas, NV, the VIDA broadband solution incorporates the Intel® IXP2350 network processor, with integrated MAC, that has been optimized to work with picoChip’s PHY to deliver best in class performance.

The combination of the MAC and the picoChip PHY, running on Intel IXP2350 network processor and a picoArray processor respectively, delivers a flexible, high performance, integrated WiMAX system solution saving both development time and costs. WiMAX is particularly appropriate for public safety applications because of the protocol’s superior range and quality of service (QoS) that are inherent to the 802.16 standard.

“The VIDA broadband system is the only truly open standards-based, public safety grade broadband solution on the market today that has applied the 802.16 to the 4.9 GHz band, which has been set aside specifically for public safety use,” commented Greg Henderson, product development manager, M/A-COM. “We selected picoChip as our PHY partner for this solution because of the flexibility and ease of programming of the architecture, and the availability of a robust 802.16 reference design. We have been extremely pleased with the support and quality of the picoChip solution.”

“The public safety market for wireless communications is the most demanding there is,” said Caroline Gabriel of ReThink research, “and WiMAX measures up admirably to this challenge. No other protocol can offer the same QoS guarantee, and the additional range compared to WiFi and proprietary systems means that infrastructure costs can be kept to a minimum without compromising system integrity. The M/A-COM VIDA broadband system is the first WiMAX-based, public safety broadband system available on the market.”

“Equipment manufacturers need flexible solutions that can be adapted to meet current and future requirements. The programmability and performance of the Intel® IXP2350 network processor, designed with the picoChip picoArray™, is well suited for upgradeable WiMAX baseband solutions. This was a significant consideration for M/A-COM and offers tremendous benefits for public safety applications,” added Rose Schooler, director of marketing, Infrastructure Processor Division, Intel.

Guillaume d’Eyssautier, president and CEO of picoChip, said, “We were delighted when M/A-COM, a company renowned for its technology leadership in the public safety arena, selected the picoArray for its VIDA broadband solution. We look forward to continuing a strong strategic relationship with the company.”