Uprated QorIQ Qonverge basestation-on-a-chip for broadband metro sector

February 18, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Freescale’s latest QorIQ Qonverge SoC for the LTE metrocell market incorporates digital front-end technology and supports up to 256 simultaneous users.

Mobile network operators must boost network performance while controlling capital expenditure costs, increasing power efficiency and supporting 4G/LTE standards and are increasingly looking to metrocells to provide ubiquitous coverage in dense urban areas and throughout large enterprises.

Freescale has introduced an update to the QorIQ Qonverge portfolio of base station-on-chip SoCs. The B3421 base station SoC integrates digital front-end (DFE) technology, which improves power amplifier (PA) efficiency and significantly reduces base station power and costs.

The B3421 device is fully optimised for concurrent LTE and WiFi operation, and supports LTE-TDD, LTE-FDD and LTE-Advanced wireless standards. Advanced 4x4 MiMO algorithms and 3GPP standard up to Release 11, advanced interference cancelling schemes, eICIC and carrier aggregation additionally improve spectral efficiency and provide future-proofing for OEMs and operators.

The device’s embedded CPU cores, DSP cores, baseband accelerators and DFE technology deliver a system-on-chip solution that handles base station processing tasks from the front end all the way to the backhaul. The integrated DFE capability, coupled with standard antenna interfaces, allow seamless RFIC interfacing and streamlined RF line-up optimisation. Freescale says that with Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities to meet low power requirements, support for JESD204B, JESD207 and CPRI interfaces to support various antenna schemes, PCI Express for connectivity to WiFi chipsets, SATA for local content caching and Ethernet SGMII backhaul interfaces, the QorIQ Qonverge B3421 device is the most highly integrated metrocell base station SoC available.

Operating in the in PoE-type power envelope, the B3421 SoC combines acceleration technologies with Power Architecture e6500 dual-thread cores and StarCore SC3900 DSP cores to support up to 256 simultaneous users, and to provide spectral efficiency for extremely dense user bases such as enterprise or urban environments.

The devices will sample to basestation developers early in 2015.