Imec introduces a cognitive baseband radio
(COBRA) architecture targeting 4G requirements at up to 1Gbit/s throughput and
multiple asynchronous concurrent streams (for instance simultaneous digital
broadcasting reception and high-speed internet access).
The low-cost, flexible architecture answers a new trend in wireless communication
where terminals give their users ubiquitous broadband access to a multitude
COBRA - imec’s reconfigurable baseband platform architecture.
COBRA is an interesting architecture for future mobile handsets and all kinds
of battery-powered wireless connectivity devices, as well as for base-stations
for small cells. The COBRA architecture can be customized to meet the requirements
for many standards (WLAN (IEEE802.11n to .11ac), cellular (LTE to LTE-advanced),
and broadcasting (DVB-T/H to DVB-T2)) and dedicated needs.
COBRA contains imec’s energy-efficient high-performance ADRES reconfigurable
baseband processor featuring multi-threading and wide SIMD (single instruction,
multiple data) capabilities. The associated tools enable C-based compilation,
as well as assisted parallelization over multiple cores and/or threads. This
speeds up the design leading to shorter time-to-market and more energy-efficient
radios. Imec’s low-power flexible forward-error correction (FlexFEC) processor
template achieving high-speed turbo & LDPC is also included. An LDPC-specific
instance for multi-standard broadcasting has also been derived to further optimize
power and area. Moreover, COBRA features a novel ASIP (application-specific
integrated processor)-based digital front-end enabling flexible filtering synchronization
and spectrum sensing. This component also enables hierarchical platform activation,
resulting in idle power in the range of 2mW in 65 low-power CMOS technology
for the baseband platform.
In its green radio program, imec partners up with industrial players to design
the next generation cognitive radios, targeting increased integration and improved
power efficiency radios. The COBRA platform, which is being designed together
with the industrial partners of imec’s green radio program, is now available
for licensing. The reconfigurable radio architecture and related cores can be
evaluated and tested at imec.
Liesbet Van Der Perre, Program Director Wireless Communication: “With
every new generation of mobile communication devices we expect more flexibility
and more intelligence. Devices that can negotiate and switch between frequencies
to optimally use the available spectrum. Devices that switch between standards,
choosing the best option depending on location, user environment and user application.
Imec’s COBRA technology is an answer to that need, offering high flexibility
combined with the energy efficiency needed in mobile devices.”
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its
scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in
ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions.
In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed
to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society.
Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands,
Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1,750 people includes over
550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2009, imec's revenue (P&L)
was 275 million euro.
Posted June 8th, 2010