WiMAX basestation design

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picoChip’s PC8532 was the first basestation reference design to support WiMAX Wave 2 with full UL-CSM and IO-MIMO, and scales from access point (femtocell) to sophisticated multi-sector macrocells.

It is used by AT4 as the “golden modem” for WiMAX certification and has demonstrated compatibility between systems running WiMAX Forum Certified™ 16d, 16e SISO, and 16e Wave 2 MIMO, all from a common hardware platform.

The PC8532 is the latest in series of software-defined products that have made picoChip the industry standard architecture for WiMAX. We have provided OEMs with a smooth upgrade path from early 802.16-2004 implementations, through mobile and nomadic 802.16e-2005 specifications, Wave 2 and on to Release 1.5. As a result our carrier-class WiMAX solutions are already proven and in commercial use with over 100 operators.

Like all of picoChip’s reference designs, our WiMAX solution is completely software based, allowing optimization of algorithms and rapid customization, and fostering an iterative design approach based on field experience. An open and extensible API facilitates integration with upper MAC functions. Integrated filtering, peak clipping, level control and DC compensation functions simplify DAC/ADC interfacing, and take cost out of the RF subsystem.

Targeted to run on picoChip’s PC203 picoArray device, the PC8532 supports channel bandwidths of up to 10MHz, customizable in software, and payload data rates of up to 37Mbit/s. It can be used with either zero-IP or low-IF radio architectures, and provides optional support for features such as optional CTC and HARQ, antenna diversity and multi-user uplink subchannelization.

The use of MIMO increases data-rate and reliability by simultaneously sending and receiving data via multiple antennas. The 2 x 2 MIMO system used in WiMAX significantly reduces CAPEX and OPEX for carriers, by increasing coverage and data rate. As a result, Wave 2 delivers maximum download and upload transmission speeds of 40Mbit/s and 12Mbit/s respectively. picoChip's programmable PHY supports Wave 2 and IO-MIMO in both uplink and downlink.

Complementing the PC8532 software reference design, picoChip offers the PC7203 baseband reference design, a hardware platform based on the PC203 multi-core signal processor. Equipped with a host processor and various interfaces, the PC7203 allows designers to rapidly evaluate basestation designs and perform system test and debug.