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picoChip extends leadership with 262GIPS, 35GMACS multi-core wireless processors

Product news
Reference: PC0118(A)

Expanded product line sets new benchmark in high-performance signal processing; the market’s only device to deliver true single-chip IO-MIMO for WiMAX

Bath, England, 16 September 2008: picoChip has expanded its leadership in massively multi-core architectures with the announcement of new high-performance picoArrayTM devices. The PC202-10, PC203-10 and PC205-10 multi-core DSPs deliver processing power of up to 262GIPS and 35GMACS. These enhanced members of the industry-leading PC20x series allow designers to deliver advanced features and use fewer devices in highly demanding applications such as advanced wireless infrastructure products.

The PC20xx-10 devices are based on the same proven multi-core picoArray architecture as existing PC20x products, but with a larger array of processors, whilst retaining full code compatibility. The picoChip picoArray has been demonstrated in independent benchmarks to deliver a 40-fold advantage in price-performance, and eight-times higher absolute performance, compared with traditional DSPs.

The performance uplift in the PC20x-10 devices is achieved not by traditional clock speed increases or by shrinking the semiconductor manufacturing technology employed: instead the multi-core nature of the picoArray is used to increase the number of processor elements in the devices from 248 to 273. This strategy also increases memory size by eight per cent, giving designers more scope to implement value-added functionality as well as to create and enhance robust turnkey solutions. Because clock rate does not change, the new devices are fully code-compatible; software written for the smaller chips can immediately run on the new devices.

The extra processing headroom of the PC2xx-10 devices gives OEMs significantly more flexibility in creating 3G, WiMAX and 4G wireless products. For example, complex multi-sector cellular basestations can be realized using fewer chips; femtocells can include new features or custom functionality; and premium products can be equipped with enhanced features. The PC205-10 is at the heart of picoChip’s single-chip WiMAX solution, the industry’s only offering capable of delivering true IO-MIMO – a critical requirement of mobile WiMAX.

Doug Pulley, CTO and co-founder at picoChip said: “The PC20x-10 devices represent a vital step in the evolution of the picoChip product offering. The PC20x family is the market leader, and for most applications we see today provides more than enough processing power. However, we see some customers pushing the boundaries in design innovation and that’s where the PC20x-10s will really come into their own. An attraction of our multi-core architecture is how easy it is to scale the array to suit the needs of the problem: smaller for lower price or bigger, as here, for higher performance.”

Launched in 2006, the PC20x series of cost-effective multi-core DSP chips for next-generation wireless broke the $1/GMAC barrier. Amongst other applications they have become the industry-leading femtocell solutions and the de facto standard for WiMAX PHY implementations. All three basic variants in the series are suited to complete software radio systems, and full reference designs are available for WiMAX (both 16d and 16e) and WCDMA (including HSDPA, with upgrade to HSUPA).

Priced from $31 in volume, all PC20x-10 devices are programmed in standard ANSI C, and feature a cryptographic engine as well as an optimized co-processor for FFT/IFFT, Viterbi and turbo decoders.

picoChip is the leading supplier of multi-core DSP delivering extremely high performance at competitive cost points. It offers a powerful platform to develop products for emerging global wireless communications markets such as WiMAX, WCDMA, LTE, TD-SCDMA and 4G. picoChip’s products scale from femtocell access points to picocells and sophisticated multi-sector carrier macrocells.


Editor's Note: picoArray is a registered trademark of picoChip. All other trademarks and servicemarks are the property of their respective owners.

For further information on picoChip, text and graphics by email or to discuss feature article opportunities:

Oliver Davies, Publitek Limited, 18 Brock Street, Bath, BA1 2LW, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1225 470 000 E-mail:
Fax: +44 (0)1225 470 047 Web:

Media Contact:

Rupert Baines, picoChip Designs Limited, Riverside Buildings,
108 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BG, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1225 469 744 E-mail:
Fax: +44 (0)1225 469 767 Web:

About picoChip
picoChip, located in Bath, England, is dedicated to providing innovative, flexible wireless solutions to help equipment makers minimize time-to-market, costs, and system power consumption.

At the heart of the company’s offering is a scaleable, multi-processor baseband IC that combines the computational density of a dedicated ASIC with the programmability of a traditional high end Digital Signal Processor. The picoChip technology platform includes tools, development boards and reference designs, and proven IP for seamless integration with the radio frequency elements of a base station. Equipment based on picoChip technology will enable telecom operators to remotely re-configure and upgrade their equipment without the high costs of replacing obsolete hardware.

picoChip currently has a development team with a balanced mix of hardware and software engineers of outstanding ability and experience; spanning such diverse fields as communications system design, software development, computer architecture, digital signal processing, RF design, and silicon design.

The company was founded in September 2000 and is backed by AT&T, SEP, Rothschild, Intel Capital, Pond Venture Partners and Atlas Venture.

Publisher Contact Information:

picoChip Designs Limited
+44 (0)1225 469 744

Company profile of picoChip Designs Limited
Past press releases of picoChip Designs Limited.


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