Picochip Ltd., which Mindspeed recently acquired, and ASTRI began their close collaboration on the LTE femtocell reference design in the middle of 2008, supporting both LTE frequency division duplexing (FDD) and TD-LTE. The two companies demonstrated the world’s first TD-LTE femtocell prototype at Mobile World Congress 2009, and have been working on a combined design supporting both LTE FDD and TD-LTE over the last several years.
Mindspeed is the only small cell System-on-Chip (SoC) supplier to have demonstrated solutions for both TD-LTE and LTE FDD. The company also supports dual-mode concurrent operation with 3G high-speed packet access (HSPA+) and including time division synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA). Although TD-LTE had low visibility and demand just two or three years ago, industry analyst firm Informa has projected that 40 percent of LTE users will be served by the technology by 2015. While the TD-LTE and LTE FDD are substantially similar, the key difference is that LTE FDD uses paired spectrum, with one band for the uplink and a second for the downlink. TD-LTE, instead, uses unpaired spectrum, carrying uplink and downlink traffic on the same frequency by switching between the two.
“Unlike reference designs that use ‘example code’ or ‘demo-ware,’
“We have been working closely with the company on this product since 2008,” added Dr. Cheung Nim-Kwan, chief executive officer of ASTRI, “This has been a very productive collaboration and we are delighted that Mindspeed has been able to make the LTE small cell system generally available to its customers. TD-LTE is important not just to the Chinese market, but globally, and we look forward to working together on future products.”
Mobile World Congress 2012
Demonstrations will be hosted in Mindspeed’s booth (1E57) at Mobile World Congress 2012 where the TD-LTE small cell communicates with a commercial TD-LTE dongle for simultaneous uplink/downlink high data rate applications. The USB modem was jointly designed by ASTRI and Innofidei, a leading integrated circuit (IC) design company in China, and had been recently used in a large scale TD-LTE trial conducted across six cities in China.
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The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the HKSAR Government in 2000 with a mission to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.