Microwave Journal

Freescale Demonstrates WiMAX Infrastructure Development Platform

January 12, 2007

The industry's most comprehensive development platform utilizing Power Architecture™ technology for the creation of WiMAX base band applications is available now from Freescale Semiconductor.

Incorporating high performance PowerQUICC™ communication technology, StarCore™ digital signal processors and a field programmable gate array (FPGA), the WiMAX base band platform works together with Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) software to provide the performance and programmable processing required for production of WiMAX base station products. According to In-Stat, the number of fixed WiMAX subscribers worldwide is projected to reach 16 million by 2010, and the number of mobile WiMAX subscribers is expected to range from 15 to 25 million. Designed to support both fixed and mobile stations, the WiMAX platform provides the essential hardware functionality required for a first generation WiMAX IEEE 802.16-2005 mobile base band platform in a single Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) form factor.

"The integration of key silicon content combined with Freescale software makes Freescale's new base band channel card offering a comprehensive and flexible WiMAX solution," said Flint Pulskamp, program manager for IDC. "As WiMAX grows into a mainstream technology, this type of platform solution can help take this standard to the next level of adoption among telecommunication infrastructure firms."

The design utilizes a Gigahertz performance MPC8555E PowerQUICC III communication processor built on Power Architecture technology for MAC processing, two quad-core MSC8126 500Mz DSPs based on StarCore technology for Layer 1 PHY processing, and an FPGA for time domain processing. Freescale's QUICC Engine™ technology enables network termination, and the AMC platform supports a variety of interface technologies including the Gigabit, Serial I/O and Rapid IO™ interconnect standards.

Software shipped with the WiMAX platform includes CodeWarrior® development tools and a SmartDSP-OS RTOS integrated with peripheral device drivers for Freescale's MSC8126 processor. Customers also can leverage enabling software kernels from Freescale for MAC and PHY processing. AMC card design details including schematics and gerber files are available upon request.

WiMAX, a market-driven standard for delivering both fixed and mobile high speed data services, is based on the IEEE 802.16 2005 mobile specifications. The standard continues to gain market momentum. A member of the WiMAX Forum, Freescale is a leading supplier of high-power RF transistors and other products optimized for the performance requirements of WiMAX base stations. The company is engaged with leading WiMAX base station equipment makers, leveraging its scalable processors and 3.5 GHZ RF power transistor portfolio.

The platform, together with high-power RF transistors optimized for WiMAX applications and Freescale's full portfolio of general purpose amplifiers, is currently on display at this week's IEEE Radio & Wireless Symposium in Room 201-B of the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA.