Chip vendor Lattice pushes HetNet solutions

Seeking to grab a big bite out of the market for heterogeneous networks, programmable chip vendor Lattice Semiconductor and Azcom Techology have collaborated on a portfolio of products that include HetNet-optimized soft IP and system-level reference designs for multi-mode LTE small cells.

FPGAs, such as those produced by Lattice, offer features desirable for use in small cells, including low cost, low power and small form factors. The Lattice HetNet Solutions Portfolio is aimed at designers of small cells, low-power remote radio heads, distributed antenna systems and active antennas.

Specific elements of the new portfolio include low-density LatticeECP3 FPGAs; ultra-low-density MachXO2 and MachX03 FPGAs; programmable power-management solutions; an Azcom ngSCBP baseband board, which is a 3GPP Release 9-compliant, dual-mode LTE/HSPA+ small cell baseband platform, with an on-board LatticeECP3-70 FPGA; and an Azcom ng SCBP-RF board, which simultaneously supports LTE and HSPA+ from 700MHz to 2.6GHz, up to 4x4 MIMO and 27dBm output power. The RF board also includes a LatticeECP3-150 FPGA implementing numerous digital front end (DFE) functions.

Lattice data path diagram

(Source: Lattice)

"FPGA technology like LatticeECP3 devices which can support key connectivity interfaces such as CPRI, JESD207 and others in a low-power, small footprint is a major enabler for a new generation of mobile infrastructure equipment," said Ajit Singh, Azcom's CEO. "Hardware programmability to cope with the many interoperability requirements and complex network environments is a must for developers as the HetNet market continues to evolve."

Lattice's ultra-low-power programmable IC solutions are used by makers of smartphones, mobile handheld devices, small-cell networking equipment, industrial control, automotive infotainment and more. This past July, Lazard Capital Markets chip analyst Ian Ing cited Lattice as a vendor likely to see considerable benefit from small cell exposure. Ing, who was quoted by Barron's, observed that, "FPGAs play best in large, lower volume equipment implemented with specialized hardware."

For more:
- see this joint release

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