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August 26, 2009

Freescale Semiconductor rolls out new digital signal processor

Features four programmable 1GHz DSP cores offering 4GHz of DSP processing power

By CBR Staff Writer

Freescale Semiconductor has rolled out the MSC8154 processor, a four-core version of its MSC8156 digital signal processor (DSP). The device is designed to add throughput options to its portfolio of DSPs based on StarCore technology.

Freescale said that the MSC8154 is manufactured using 45-nm process technology and is pin- and code-compatible with the MSC8156 device. This allows designers to use the same board design for lower bandwidth macro- or micro-base station designs.

Freescale also released the supporting software to help OEMs to develop software for 3G-LTE base stations, and a reference board design and DSP enablement platform that reportedly allows customers and third parties to speed the development of wireless infrastructure equipment.

The company said that the MSC8154AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card) integrates three four-core MSC8154 DSPs and is designed for 3G-LTE, TDD-LTE, WCDMA and WiMAX base stations and also for media gateway systems. Freescale also offers the MSC8156AMC, which is based on the six-core MSC8156 DSP.

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The MSC8154 is a single device that features four programmable 1GHz DSP cores delivering 4GHz of DSP processing power, plus the MAPLE-B baseband accelerator. This combination, delivered in a single system-on-chip, is suitable for use in cost-optimised systems, the company said.

In addition, the MSC8154 DSP’s onboard Multi-Accelerator Platform Engine technology for baseband, called MAPLE-B, works in concert with the four DSP cores to support the 3G-LTE, TDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA and WiMAX standards, and the symbol rate functionality of HSPA+.

Reportedly, the Freescale MSC8154AMC reference development system is a single width DSP platform, based around three MSC8154 DSPs. According to the company, the MSC8154AMC is a suitable enablement platform for customers and third parties who are developing and debugging technologies for the wireless standards such as 3G-LTE, WiMAX, HSDPA+ and TDD-LTE.

Scott Aylor, general manager of DSP products of networking and multimedia group at Freescale, said: “Freescale’s MSC8154 processor builds on the success of the MSC8156 six-core device and introduces a lower cost option with optimised performance for lower bandwidth base station applications.”

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