picoChip today announced the availability of the industry's first LTE femtocell and picocell reference designs, the PC8608 Home eNodeB and PC8618 eNodeB respectively. Both PC86xx family small-cell LTE reference designs build on picoChip's successes as the leader in femtocells. Both products can be combined with picoChip's HSPA products and run on the same common hardware platform as the company's industry-standard WiMAX reference designs.
picoChip is the only company shipping femtocell silicon, with customers that include Ubiquisys, ipAccess and a number of Tier One OEMs. This, combined with the company's extensive knowledge of WiMAX and OFDM-based systems enables cost-effective eNodeB solutions for manufacturers with accelerated development.
"LTE is the next market for us. picoChip is the only femtocell silicon vendor with operator commitment and it is crucial that we continue to leverage that at every stage. Simply put, the two-year experience lead that we have over the competition in femtocells, plus our industry-leading expertise in WiMAX, will continue our LTE customers' edge: accelerating their programs, improving development efficiency and reducing cost," said Guillaume d'Eyssautier president and CEO, picoChip.
LTE is the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) 4G architecture and has been designed to improve the UMTS mobile phone standard to cope with future requirements. These include improving efficiency, lowering costs, improving services, making use of new spectrum opportunities, and better integration with other open standards. Although competing in the market, LTE has significant commonality with WiMAX which enables picoChip to offer a common platform design.
"We demonstrated LTE at Mobile World Congress in February -- the industry's only LTE reference design. Our customers have been engaged from an early stage to launch LTE products in 2009. This enables existing femtocell customers to upgrade to LTE, and for us to serve new customers with dual-mode WCDMA/LTE system," added d'Eyssautier.
The PC86xx LTE design runs on the same picoChip hardware platforms as the company's industry standard WiMAX basestation reference designs. As in WiMAX, the family includes PHY and MAC and offers 5MHz and 10MHz solutions. Both TDD and FDD modes are supported. The PHY runs on picoChip PC203 devices and includes OFDMA downlink and SC-FDMA uplink, with support for up to 2x2 MIMO and for AAS. The picoChip platform has been developed with partners mimoOn and Wintegra.
The picoChip LTE reference designs empower OEMs with faster time-to-market and lower development costs as they can focus their resources on adding value and differentiating their products. As a software-defined solution, it is future-proof and can be upgraded as the LTE standard is refined and updated. Finally, the common platform also supports WiMAX, with Wave 2 and MIMO available now, and future support for AAS, Release 1.5 (FDD) and 16m.