July 17, 2003 - TTPCom Limited, the world's leading independent supplier of technology for digital wireless communications, today announces its latest MAC technology aimed at the new generation of Ultra Wide Band (UWB) systems.
The medium access controller (MAC) core, based on TTPCom's third generation MAC design, allows Ultra Wide Band technology developers to focus on the challenges of physical layer design whilst building on mature, silicon-proven MAC technology. TTPCom's UWB MAC technology is available for immediate license.
TTPCom will be demonstrating its UWB MAC to selected partners alongside the IEEE 802 meeting in San Francisco, running from July 20th to 25th. The MAC demonstration shows video transported over TTPCom's new 802.15.3 MAC running in FPGA. TTPCom's MAC core is scalable from low rate operation up to the very high throughputs supported by Ultra Wide Band. The design carefully segregates data traffic by extensive use of pointers, shared memory and DMA paths. An innovative parallel processing architecture and sophisticated hardware assist mean that the design can be scaled to deliver rates of 1Gbit/sec and beyond.
TTPCom has pioneered a completely new approach to MAC design using a Protocol Accelerator Subsystem to manage the protocol based on packet "recipes" stored in RAM. These recipes can easily be modified by software to adapt the MAC's behaviour - the same core MAC technology can implement 802.15.3, 802.11a/b/g/i and 802.11e.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Barkway, head of TTPCom's Broadband Wireless Group said: "TTPCom's MAC core is right at the forefront of developments in UWB technology. The design is highly flexible and, because it builds on a proven 802.11 design and on experience gained from working with wireless date technologies for over 10 years, it is a robust solution that offers manufacturers a fast time to market. With the high data rates required by UWB, the key issue is getting the hardware design right and, as our demonstration convincingly shows, we have overcome the challenges and developed a unique solution."
TTPCom's MAC solution incorporates a 32KHz crystal that can be used to maintain timing in standby mode, reducing standby power consumption to micro-watts. The CPU can shut down when processing is complete and hardware blocks within the design autonomously shut down when not required to further reduce power.
Intensive work is underway within the IEEE 802.15.3a task group to enhance the core standard to incorporate Ultra Wide Band. 802.15.3 was originally developed for 55Mbit/sec personal area networks – Ultra Wide Band offers data rates of 500Mbits/sec and has added much needed momentum to the standard.
The 802.15.3 MAC core augments TTPCom's solutions for broadband wireless – these now include MAC hardware, software and modem designs for all the current variants of 802.11.
Future variants will include support for leading broadband wireless standards as well as optimised software and hardware designs for "GSM.11" - wireless terminals which can work on both cellular and Wireless LAN "hotspot" networks.
TTPCom's 802.15.3 MAC (Medium Access Control) is the building block for Ultra Wide Band and Multimedia Applications. See here for more details.