ROTSELAAR, Belgium Sirius Communications NV has followed up the wideband code-division-multiple-access (W-CDMA) intellectual-property core it announced in June with a C-language model of the core, which will help developers simulate third-generation (3G) cellular handsets, the company said.
Defined in VHDL and available for licensing, Sirius' CDMAx core implements digital aspects of several W-CDMA physical interfaces as required for 3G mobile communications. It includes the ability to handle global positioning system (GPS) signals, but not the multicarrier version of CDMA specified in the cdma2000 air interface. Nor does it provide functions like the voice codec, which Sirius said likely will be handled in software on a separate DSP or microprocessor core. CDMAx is optimized to work with an ARM7TDMI Thumb core from ARM Ltd. (Cambridge, England).
Sirius said continuing evolution of W-CDMA standards i s delaying ASIC developments for 3G-compliant handsets. But in the company's view, the availability of CDMAx together with its MaxCmizer model will provide cellular handset manufacturers and telecommunications foundries with a shortcut to the 3G cellular handset market.
"MaxCmizer is an executable model and has a speed advantage over other bit-true models," said Lieven Philips, chief executive officer of Sirius. It provides bit-accurate data typing by linking signals to an associated fixed-point library, Philips said.
The company is one of several spin-offs from the Interuniversities Microelectronics Center (IMEC; Leuven, Belgium) pursuing the use of C and C++ language modeling and synthesis, though Sirius' main expertise is in spread-spectrum communications.
Sirius is following the lead of fellow IMEC spin-off Frontier Design NV (Leuven), which has offered two cores modeled in C: a GSM mobile com munications core and a speech-recognition core. Frontier also offers EDA tools to help licensees elaborate a design and translate it into VHDL or Verilog prior to synthesis.
The MaxCmizer model comes with a configuration package for the 384-kbit/second data-transmission mode for 3G mobile communications. Other packages are planned, such as the 3G 384-kbit/s with 8-kbit/s low-rate channel and six-channel GPS reception. Customized packages also can be developed.
Philips said the MaxCmizer also supports mixed-language simulation. "We can offer cosimulation with VHDL. For example, the VSS simulator from Synopsys has a C-language interface. The larger portion of a design could be in C but a smaller block could be in VHDL," he said.
MaxCmizer software is available for Unix platforms (HPUX 10.2). Pricing starts at about $9,800. The company said it is developing a Windows 95/98/NT version.
Search words: Sirius, CDMAx, MaxCmizer