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Adaptive Computing IC Technology for 3G Software-Defined Mobile Devices

Paul Master and Bob Plunkett

Quicksilver Technology

Practical implementation of software defined radio (SDR) for mobile wireless devices will place significantly increased demands on design approaches and integrated circuit (IC) technology. Next generation wireless terminals, third generation (3G) and beyond, are required to provide much higher levels of features, functions, and services than their second generation (2G) counterparts. Examples include such capabilities as higher throughput, multiband, multimode, multimedia, and location-based services. This demand for new capabilities is occurring simultaneously with the demand for portability driving key physical requirements of long battery life, small size, light weight, etc. Combined, all these issues add to the design challenge of next generation devices. Wireless terminals are quickly approaching a point in the product development roadmap that, without a paradigm shift in the basic IC design architecture, they will not be able to meet these demanding consumer requirements.

The ideal design solution would be to take advantage of the processing efficiencies of an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), i.e. high processing power, low power consumption, while retaining the flexibility of a digital signal processor (DSP). This is the very essence of a new class of IC based on adaptive computing technology, described in this chapter. A comparison ...

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