Texas Instruments Incorporated (Texas Instruments) has developed a 1.2GHz TMS320TCI6487, a three core digital signal processor. The new processor is running at 3.6GHz coupled with a powerful software library that delivers the performance necessary to support Long Term Evolutions (LTE's) complex algorithms. The company's optimized software library for LTE leverages specialized accelerators and instructions that further improve the efficiency of systems.

With the company’s new LTE solution, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can extend their current base station platforms to include new features and more complex algorithms without designing a new board.

More than 18 carriers around the world have recently announced plans to deploy LTE to the cumulative tune of $8.5 billion by 2012 for wireless infrastructure equipment, said Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst of consumer and wireless research, iSuppli. A key driver for LTE deployment is the consumer’s insatiable demand for data-intensive applications running on mobile internet devices or smartphones, including interactive remote games, streaming video and location-based applications, which require significantly more bandwidth and no tolerance for latency. To meet these challenging network requirements while keeping an eye on costs, basestation OEMs and carriers need a powerful, scaleable solution similar to the one TI is providing.

Proof that TI delivers parts with our customer’s architecture in mind and provides the most efficient path to deployment, our 1GHz TCI6487 is currently used in eight of the top ten LTE OEM systems going through development, lab, and field trials today, said Kathy Brown, general manager of Texas Instruments’s wireless basestation infrastructure group. By increasing the performance of our C64x+™-based digital signal processor (DSP), we enable our customers to support new features and requirements quickly and effectively, reducing cost and accelerating time to market.

To achieve a successful LTE deployment, robust software is a requirement. The company’s third generation LTE software library release includes optimized functions for all necessary signal processing elements. In addition, the company has released software to use on-chip acceleration to support decoding the uplink channel quality information (CQI), thereby saving up to 1 GHz of DSP processing – a savings equivalent to adding an additional core to the DSP. A complete physical layer reference design incorporating the company’s LTE library is available from Tata Elxsi and mimoOn.

The company also offers a reference platform from Commagility, enabling customers to quickly evaluate their networks and optimize system design, speeding LTE deployments. In addition to the reference platform, TI provides the complete analog signal chain for LTE, including data converters, RF products, power management, clocks and amplifiers.

Features and benefits:

The TCI6487 contains three DSP cores, each running at 1.2 GHz. Each core has its own dedicated 1 Mbyte of L2 with 32k of L1 data and program cache minimizing off-chip memory access and enabling efficient software architectures. The company’s easy-to-use and efficient compiler tools reduce the time required to develop and test new software features.

The TCI6487 includes additional high performance accelerators and peripheral interfaces, which are optimized for cellular infrastructure products. Each DSP core contains one RSA unit that can accelerate the decoding of LTE CQI information – a savings of up to 1 GHz per sector for 20 MHz LTE systems. The flexibility and ease of use of the company DSPs makes this product ideal for multi-standard designs or as the core technology for multiple, targeted designs.

In addition to LTE software libraries, the company provides optimized libraries for WiMAX and WCDMA to further enable multi-standard developments. These libraries enable higher channel density as well as lower power per channel. Developed and tested within the company’s carrier-class environment, the inclusion of this software allows basestation OEMs to better focus on their system level solutions.