Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) introduced a high-performance development platform for wireless infrastructure equipment designers who need to quickly evaluate systems using DPD (digital pre-distortion) techniques in multi-carrier cellular base stations. ADI’s MS-DPD (mixed-signal, digital pre-distortion) development platform seamlessly integrates a complete high-performance RF and mixed-signal transmit chain from ADI with any FPGA (field-programmable gate array) development kit with an HSMC (high-speed mezzanine card) connector from industry leading programmable-logic vendor Altera Corp.

“Analog Devices’ RF and mixed-signal portfolio gives our customers access to a complete radio architecture, which allows them to lower engineering overhead and time-to-market,” said Martin Cotter, Segment Director, Communications Infrastructure, Analog Devices. “By collaborating with Altera, ADI is now able to offer customers the complete circuitry and components needed to implement a base station radio. The MS-DPD platform offers the highest performance possible in the transmit and observation-path signal chains, allowing our customers to focus on differentiation in their DPD algorithm implementations.”

The complete multi-carrier development platform has best-in-class dynamic performance, which reduces the time spent on component selection, interoperability issues and board layout while freeing design resources to optimize the DPD algorithms required by multi-carrier GSM and multi-standard SDR (software-defined radio) applications. FPGAs enable designers to quickly re-program DPD algorithms during product development to correct for nonlinearities in the radio’s transmit paths while improving the power efficiency of the entire radio. FPGAs also provide the flexibility to optimize the solution that competing fixed-function ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) cannot.

“This collaboration between ADI and Altera provides customers with a complete system-level hardware development platform for base station radio designs that complements our portfolio of RF solutions, which includes multi-mode CFR and DPD IP," said Arun Iyengar, Senior Director of Altera's communications business unit. "The MS-DPD board has native support for Altera’s HSMC connector and can seamlessly interface with the FPGA development kits from Altera and our partners. The in-field-programmability feature of Altera FPGAs significantly lowers the risk of introducing new technologies such as DPD, while also offering scalability to further enhance flexibility and provide a low-risk cost-reduction path for high-volume production with our HardCopy ASICs.”