Freescale debuts basestation-on-a-chip plans

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company will outline plans for a new family of processors for cell sites, which could help wireless operators meet 4G data demands
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled plans for a "basestation-on-a-chip", a move that could have an impact on how wireless operators meet 4G data demands.

At Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Freescale will outline a new family of processors for cell sites. The family, called QorIQ Converge, features hybrid technology that can collapse the need for various processors usually needed at a cell site. As a result, Freescale's basestation-on-a-chip will allow gear to shrink and be more easily deployed at bus stops, enterprises and other buildings.

Scott Aylor, director of Freescale's wireless access division, says the technology could create new models for carriers. For instance, instead of a two-year contract, a wireless company may give subscribers a subsidised tablet, if they also buy a femtocell.

Freescale basestation-on-a-chip

Freescale's basestation-on-a-chip could impact how operators meet 4G data demands. Photo credit: Freescale

"When you buy that great new LTE  [long-term evolution of 3G] capable phone or tablet you pay one price for that device, but if you take a femtocell a carrier may give you a lower monthly data subscription," Aylor said. "Why? You'd put less strain on the network."

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Freescale unveils basestation on a chip on ZDNet.com.

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