Facilitating technology insertion in advanced wireless systems
By Lee Pucker, Spectrum Signal Processing Aug 1 2007 (17:19 PM), Courtesy of Wireless Net DesignLine
The baseband or modem processing engines in many advanced wireless systems often include a variety of programmable "off-the-shelf" signal processing devices such as digital signal processors (DSPs) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).
These devices tend to evolve following some variant of Moore's law, with new generations of devices incorporating new features and capabilities introduced every two to three years.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) developing advanced wireless systems can take advantage of this trend to offer their customers cost-effective feature enhancements and upgrades in existing systems through technology insertion by replacing only the baseband processing engine while retaining other subsystems, such as the RF or control subsystems as is.
This article will explore the architectural requirements necessary to facilitate this manner of technology insertion in an advanced wireless system.
Part 1 of the article will examine the requirements on the baseband processing engine hardware architecture, and propose a software/firmware model for minimizing the cost to the OEM in moving from one generation of technology to the next by maximizing the reuse of intellectual property (IP) across roadmap products.
Part 2 of the article will present a real world example illustrating the efficacy of the proposed architectural models.
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