Enabling the trend toward 'flat architectures' for the cellular network, Texas Instruments has announced the availability of a development platform for the recently ratified HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) standard. Based on the wireless infrastructure-optimized, multicore TMS320TCI6488 digital signal processor, the platform offers updated WCDMA Receive Accelerator (RAC) software drivers and a reference platform. Now, base station manufacturers can design a single product spanning HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE (Long Term Evolution), greatly reducing development costs.
HSPA+ offers many benefits for wireless infrastructure base station manufacturers. Essentially, HSPA+, as defined by release 7 of the 3G mobile data protocol, introduces the concept of a flat architecture for cellular infrastructure. This new approach makes the base station into an IP router, connecting to the Internet with cost effective modern IP link layer technologies like Ethernet and eliminating expensive leased T1/E1 lines. With data speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s on the downlink and 11 Mbit/s on the uplink, HSPA+ is a significant step toward LTE.
“The fervor around LTE is undeniable, leading many to posit that LTE will be a commercial service reality within just a few years,” said Peter Jarich, Research Director with Current Analysis. “Promising a flat architecture for wireless network design along with enhanced data rates, HSPA+ paves the way for LTE going forward and allows operators to move on technology upgrades at their own pace while still benefiting from IP evolutions and improved throughput.”
Optimized Platform Extends Customers’ Existing Designs
With TI’s leadership in 3G base station technology, the majority of the world’s base station manufacturers have products designed and deployed based on the TMS320C64x+® core. By leveraging the C64x+ core-based TCI6488 device, base station manufacturers can utilize the same board footprint, dramatically reducing the time and cost needed for new board development.
Updated RAC software drivers also capitalize on the embedded platform currently in place with TI’s customers. By providing the new features necessary to support HSPA+, base station manufacturers can extend their existing software code and devote more time to optimizing the channel card for specific deployment criteria.
“TI’s latest development platform enables our customers to easily extend their solutions to include HSPA+,” said Arnon Friedmann, product manager for TI’s wireless infrastructure software solutions. “The platform also allows customers to develop systems that are software upgradeable from HSPA+ to LTE with the multi-core TCI6488 DSP.”
As an active participant in the development of the 3GPP standard release updates, TI can quickly adapt and modify its software library to match any changes or new developments. This system expertise, coupled with the company’s leadership position in wireless infrastructure, enables TI to be an active partner with customers and service providers as the industry moves toward the next step in mobile communications.