WiMAX chipmaker Sequans Communications is leading a new WiMAX development project that was recently established and funded by the European Commission. The purpose of the project is to develop a new air interface for the next generation of WiMAX, and to make key contributions to the IEEE 802.16m task group, which has been established to develop technical specifications for next generation WiMAX systems.

The project, dubbed WiMAGIC (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Broadband Access System for Next Generation Wireless Communications), has been accepted by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme for Research. Working with Sequans are 12 partners, six technology companies and six universities, from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Greece and Turkey.

WiMAX2 will be backwards compatible with current Mobile WiMAX™ systems based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard, but is intended to deliver much higher performance. The WiMAGIC project participants will address physical layer (PHY) functions such as MIMO (multiple in/multiple out advanced antenna technologies), high performance synchronization and channel estimation techniques for high vehicular mobility; and media access control layer (MAC) functions such as adaptive radio resource management and cross-layer optimization. The basic algorithms developed by the project will be validated using a system-level simulator and will then be prototyped.

“The WiMAGIC project will yield significant technological advancements in terms of network capacity, throughput and mobility,” said Hikmet Sari, Sequans’ chief scientist. “WiMAX is one of the most important technologies of our day, providing truly mobile broadband services on a global basis, and we expect WiMAX2 will be established as the leading 4G technology.”

The WiMAGIC project commenced January 2008 and will continue for three years.