As Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) deployments continue to expand worldwide, Texas Instruments is now looking beyond 3G – to Long Term Evolution (LTE).
An initiative of the Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP), LTE encompasses higher data rates and flexibility in frequency allocations needed to support IP-based applications set to deploy between 2008 and 2012. LTE, and the evolution of mobile communications systems, goes beyond the current GSM/EDGE and W-CDMA HSPA air interfaces. Operating at peak performance, 3G networks can deliver speeds of 14.4 Mbps downlink or 5.76 Mbps uplink. Packet-based LTE is designed to offer peak speeds of 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink.
In order to accelerate original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) time to market with LTE technology, TI has created a development ecosystem, combining its wireless infrastructure optimized digital signal processors (DSP), software libraries and ATCA/AMC cards from systems developers Mercury Computer Systems and Silicon Turnkey Express (STx). TI can adapt and modify the software library to match any changes or new developments. In addition, since LTE is an orthogonal frequency division modulation (OFDM) based system, TI is able to leverage more than 20 years of experience in both digital subscriber line (DSL) and previous OFDM-based wireless developments.
TI’s development ecosystem provides OEM’s a preview into how their systems can support the LTE air interface. Leveraging the TMS320TCI6482 and TMS320TCI6487 DSPs, TI has created a series of designs leveraging system-level benchmarks. These benchmarks illustrate various system architectures to support existing 3G standards, WiMAX and LTE. The software library capitalizes on TI’s existing WiMAX Wave 2 compliant library, with a host of LTE-specific algorithms. Combined, this hardware/software package provides a starting point for LTE development and enables faster and easier development of prototype systems.
“Although the LTE standard is not yet finalized, carriers’ work must begin now to test and evaluate its potential. TI’s LTE development ecosystem is the right approach and comes at the right time as it provides carriers and equipment manufacturers with sufficient lead time to meet potential deployment goals falling in the 2009/2010 timeframe,” said Godfrey Chua, research manager for IDC’s wireless and mobile infrastructure service.
The DSPs and benchmark configurations for LTE are available today. The first release of the LTE software package will be available at the end of second quarter 2007.