Freescale Semiconductor has teamed with smart antenna company ArrayComm for a reference WiMAX base station design that would claims to reduce operating costs of WiMAX infrastructure.
The design combines ArrayComm’s multi antenna signal processing software with Freescale’s MSC8144 quad-core digital signal processor. The Freescale DSP handles both Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) processing. ArrayComm’s software provides the beamforming, explains Steve Sifferman, president of ArrayComm.
Freescale and ArrayComm say products based on their design could offer two to four times greater coverage, more than doubled data rates, or as much as a fourfold increase in capacity for 802.16/WiMAX networks.
Spatial Division Multiple Access (SDMA) uses multiple antennas, but unlike simple MIMO designs that combine signals, Arraycomm’s antenna design can dynamically beamform. Adaptive array antenna systems continually monitor their coverage areas, attempting to adapt to their changing radio environment.
Adaptive beamforming is said to increase base station range — which lowers network cost or increases system capacity.
The reference design meets the IEEE 802.16e standard and conforms to the WiMAX Forum Wave 2 base profile. “The high-performance programmable processing of the MSC8144 DSP allows OEMs to use the same device, hardware platform and tools for multiple applications by using differentiated software loads,” said Jeff Timbs, director of marketing for Freescale’s Networking Systems Divison, in the same statement.