PicoChip Intros Chip 625105

PicoChip has launched its next generation of picoArray multi-core processor arrays for next-generation wireless systems

March 21, 2006

3 Min Read

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- picoChip has launched its next generation of picoArray multi-core processor arrays for next-generation wireless systems. The PC202, PC203 and PC205 are the first devices in the family, and are highly integrated, high-performance and extremely cost-effective DSPs. While the three devices each have different performance and features, they all integrate around 200 or more individual processors onto each die and deliver over 100GIPs and 25GMACs - dramatically better performance than legacy single-core DSPs. With pricing from just $25 in high volume, this achieves the Œ$1 per GMAC¹ metric, enabling unprecedented performance at consumer price-points. The PC202 and 205 also integrate a powerful ARM9 processor.

All three products are programmed in standard C or assembler, making them suited to complete software radio systems, and full reference designs are available for WiMAX (both 16d and 16e) and WCDMA (including HSDPA, with upgrade to HSUPA).Will Strauss of Forward Concepts commented, ³The industry is moving to multi-core processors and picoChip is ahead of the game, already having volume shipments. Few other manufacturers in the world can compare with what picoChip is doing right now, and with 10 times the MIPs per dollar of traditional solutions the advance in price-performance points is simply stunning.² The PC202 integrates 198 individual DSPs, as well as an ARM 926EJ-S for control and MAC functionality, and is intended for cost-critical applications such as WiMAX client side systems and access points, and WCDMA femtocells (home basestations).

The PC203 has 248 individual processors and is designed for basestation(BS)applications where it can support popular wireless communication protocols such as WiMAX and HSDPA/HSUPA, including support for advanced algorithms such as MIMO and beamforming. It is used with an external control processor or network processor in large basestations.Like the PC203, the PC205 has 248 individual DSPs, and in addition includes a powerful ARM 926EJ-S. It is intended for higher-performance stand-alone applications including software-defined radios and high-performance backhaul or mesh nodes. The ARM processor is used for all higher MAC and basestation control tasks, dramatically reducing bill-of-materials.

All three chips feature a cryptographic engine, and optimized co-processors for FFT/IFFT, Viterbi and turbo decoders (including CTC for 16e). This functionality is all integrated into picoChip¹s interconnect fabric and development environment, making it very easy to program, integrate and verify.

The individual DSPs used in all three devices are backward-compatible with those used in picoChip¹s PC102 device, which has been shipping in volume for over a year. This has enabled picoChip¹s customers to develop systems using PC102, and then benefit directly from the cost-savings provided by PC20x devices as soon as they are available.Each individual processor is a fully-featured DSP, including a 16x16-bit multiplier with 40-bit accumulators, local instruction and data memory, and uses a modified three-way Long Instruction Word (LIW) architecture. This means that, for example, a processor can execute a Multiply-Accumulate(MAC)instruction and up to three other instructions in the same cycle. With248processors in PC203 and PC205, all running at 160 MHz, this adds up to nearly 160 GIPS even before specialist wireless accelerators for functions such as Turbo and Viterbi decoding and cryptography are taken into account.

picoChip¹s President and CEO, Guillaume d'Eyssautier, commented, ³Customer adoption and business generated by the success of our current PC102 processor array have enabled us to invest in this new generation of products. Since it went into volume production over a year ago, the PC102¹s proven track record, combining outstanding performance with the highest MIPs/$ ratio on the market, has established it as the industry standard processor for WiMAX. We are confident that the PC20x family will build on this strong foundation and extend the company¹s success into other application areas.² picoChip provides software defined radio solutions to the key challenges of cost, development time and flexibility for the next generation of wireless systems. The company¹s multi-core processors deliver a world-beating price/performance combination. picoChip has achieved design wins with numerous major companies. Uniquely, the company also delivers complete, standard-compliant reference designs for UMTS (HSDPA, upgradeable toHSUPA)and WiMAX/WiBRO (both 802.16d and 802.16e, with support for AAS and MIMO).

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