The Tensilica® group at Cadence has just published a 37-page application note on a Wi-Fi 802.11ac transceiver used for WLAN (wireless local area network), and it's full of really useful information.
This transceiver design is architected on a programmable platform consisting of Tensilica DSPs, using an anchor DSP from the ConnX BBE family of cores in combination with a smaller specialized DSP and dedicated hardware RTL. The discussion focuses on various alternate reference architectures where a portion of the relevant Wi-Fi algorithms can be offloaded to hardware logic and a portion (where programmability is needed) offloaded to software running on the ConnX BBE core.
A methodology selection process is outlined to justify the transceiver's functional partitioning of the subsystem into hardware and software domains. For example, one criterion used is whether a function's computational complexity is more efficiently implemented in dedicated logic when that logic is unlikely to change. Another criterion is whether a block is expected to stay fixed or expected to change over time as standards evolve further, in which case it needs to be programmable.
The resulting reference design architectures are highly configurable and not only are capable of supporting the Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard, but also form the basis of support for the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communication standard for high-speed data used in mobile phones and data devices, and the digital television (DTV) standards as well.
How can you get a copy? Just contact your local Cadence IP sales representative or application engineer.