July 28, 2010
By Caroline Gabriel
Altair Semiconductor, a specialist in low power WiMAX chips, has recently extended its range to cover LTE. Like several other WiMAX silicon providers, it aims to leverage its experience in the initial ‘4G’ platform, which has many similarities to LTE, to gain a headstart in the newer standard. In particular, it believes it can bring expertise in the TDD flavor of LTE, since WiMAX is also a TDD technology. It has announced commercial availability of a new TD-LTE terminal reference design for use in dongles, data cards, CPEs and handheld devices. It will market this directly to device makers and ODMs, but will also hope to attract strategic alliances with larger chipmakers, which want to accelerate their LTE programs ahead of the market reaching mass around 2012.
The reference design features Altair’s FourGee 3100/6200 chipset and an LTE software stack. It supports various spectrum bands that are likely to see early TD-LTE deployments, notably China’s band 38, India’s band 40 in 2.3GHz, and others that are being adopted in Japan, north America or Europe.
The design features a unified TDD/FDD architecture using a single chipset and a single software stack, enabling a small form factor and cost efficient integration for multimode devices.
“The demand for TD-LTE products, mainly in emerging markets such as India and China, is rapidly increasing, forcing carriers to develop cost-effective solutions for this growing segment,” said Eran Eshed, VP of marketing and business development at Altair Semiconductor. “Thanks to the maturity of Altair’s FD-LTE solution which had sampled in September 2009, and the extensive testing it had undergone with most tier one infrastructure vendors, releasing a TD-LTE version was a logical next step for us.”