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ST shows solution for pico-cell base-station modems

STMicroelectronics (ST) has unveiled what it claims is the industry's most comprehensive solution for pico-cell base-station modems. The STW51000 combines the performance of SoC baseband processor with multi-standard software libraries, optimized for GSM, EDGE, W-CDMA, and WiMax networks. ST said it has tested and specified the device to be used with 20 concurrent
voice users in a Release 4 WCDMA network.

ST's device should be of interest to business. Pico-cell base stations provide enhanced wireless coverage inside office buildings, college campuses, subways, airports and more. Their importance will become even more pronounced with the arrival of 3G services because then even a small number of bandwidth-hogging high-speed data users may consume all the available resources of the nearest macro-cell base station, denying other users ready access. The ability to function well indoors is also important, as research suggests that nearly 70 percent of subscribers will be located indoors when accessing wireless broadband applications.

The STW51000ST stacks up well against the competition: One chip delivers up to 1.2 GHz of quad-MAC DSP core performance and 300 MHz of ARM926 processing power. Here's a nifty wrinkle: Both DSPs only run the signal processing tasks for which they are optimized, and thus no DSP cycles are wasted to execute the control tasks. The ARM926 acts as the SoC controller, handling all control tasks such as protocol stacks, memory management, RTOS and drivers. PHY and lower MAC benchmarks have shown that the STW51000 supports the industry's highest voice and data channel density. Two STW51000 can handle as many as 16 HSDPA users sharing a 14.4 Mbps throughput, while a single-device implementation can address up to two-carrier GSM/EDGE and a complete WiMax 802.6e 10MHz PHY, set up in the TDD mode.

STW51000 samples, evaluation boards and tools, as well as optimized software libraries, are available now. Delivered in the PBGA 569 package, the device costs $50 in volume.

For more on the STW51000:
- see this company press release

PLUS: France Telecom's affiliate Ikatel Mali will deploy Alvarion's WiMax solution in the West African country. Release

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