3GSM / MWC : PicoChip LTE and WiMAX chips

It has been good to meet with John Edwards of picoChip at congress with whom I’ll be holding the WiMAX course at the University of Oxford later this year together with Chris Beardsmore of Intel. Since my scope of interest in wireless ranges from layer one to the application on the top I very much enjoyed to see picoChip’s latest chip for LTE and WiMAX base stations in action. While others use Asics for the lower layer protocol handling and decoding, picoChip has designed their own chip with an ARM 9 processor and their own DSP to do the job more flexibly. The ARM processor used for the higher levels of the protocol stack runs Linux and the chip is used both for WiMAX and LTE. Looks like their solution has become quite popular as their WiMAX implementation has been chosen by testing houses as the reference design all other WiMAX companies have to test against. Chris allowed me to take a picture of their base station reference board and you can find it in my 3GSM Flickr stream on the right of the page.

One thought on “3GSM / MWC : PicoChip LTE and WiMAX chips”

  1. Martin,
    Thanks for the many great posts.. you hit many topics of interest.

    picoChip has been interesting to watch over the past few years: they have gained significant adoption in both WiMAX scalable base stations and in HSPA femtocell, developing momentum as a development platform/ecosystem.

    There has been a recent spate of announcements of support among chip and design and test & measurement suppliers, for both WiMAX and LTE. It looks like picoChip is ahead of the trend and has a lead in market share that, although still early, is substantial.

    Some interesting notes:
    Motorola announced that they will license their WiMAX chip set solution, MOTO WTM1000.

    Qualcomm pre-announced multi-mode GSM, EVDO, UMB and LTE for delivery mid-2009. The little UMB momentum might influence Q to put more emphasis on LTE.

    Court rulings and WiMAX momentum puts pressure on Q and others to moderate their IPR stance.

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