18th November 2013

Imagination announces world’s first Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM combo IP

Highly configurable Ensigma Series4 RPU family features 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0, delivering unique low-power SoC solutions for mobile, wearables, IoT and more


London, UK – 18 November, 2013 Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) announces the world’s first IP that combines Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM receiver in one configurable solution. With this combination of technologies, a new family of Ensigma Series4 ‘Explorer’ radio processor unit (RPU) cores provides an ideal range of solutions for integration onto System-on-Chips (SoCs) targeting a range of next-generation mobile, wearables, IoT and other connected products.

Says Martin Woodhead, EVP engineering for Ensigma, Imagination: “Digital baseband integration is a growing trend in high-volume markets as companies look to further reduce system costs and power consumption. Ensigma RPUs are gaining traction as our customers increasingly recognize the benefits of bringing highly efficient and advanced communications processing on-chip. Imagination’s position as an end-to-end provider of connectivity solutions, including RF, baseband, firmware, software, support and certification make Imagination uniquely able to address this trend.”

By making its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio receiver technologies available as configurable combo IP cores, Imagination is enabling a wide range of companies to achieve their performance, power and cost targets for next-generation applications. Imagination is building on its strength in integration based on its broad range of IP – applying that expertise to address one of the last bastions of SoC integration by bringing the digital baseband on-chip.

A range of combo IP cores

The new Ensigma combo IP is available in a range of configurable cores including:

  • C4531: Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 + Bluetooth 4.0 + FM for products including tablets, ultrabooks, gaming consoles, smart TVs and more
  • C4521: Wi-Fi 802.11ac 1×1 + Bluetooth 4.0 + FM for devices including smartphones and tablets
  • C4511: Wi-Fi 802.11n 1×1 + Bluetooth + FM for products such as mobile handsets and wearables

Other technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy) are also available and can be licensed standalone or in a combo configuration. For example, customers may choose to combine Bluetooth LE with FM for ultra low-power wearable applications.

As the newest members of the Ensigma ‘Explorer’ family, the new combo IP cores are built using the fourth generation of Imagination’s RPU programmable radio technology. At the heart of this technology is a powerful and uniquely optimized balance of programmability and hardware configurability, delivering impressive functionality in compact silicon area.

Advanced coexistence algorithms

The new Ensigma combo IP cores leverage sophisticated algorithms to enable the coexistence of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM receiver in one solution. By incorporating these advanced algorithms and completely production-ready implementations of all supported standards, the cores are able to deliver better data throughput, sensitivity, and other key performance metrics, while minimizing host processing and power requirements. Features of the coexistence algorithms include:

  • Advanced scheduling algorithms based on Bluetooth TX/RX cycle prediction
  • Coexistence-aware Carrier Sense, Packet Sync and Transmission
  • Efficient baseband/MAC level information sharing to track frequency and signal threshold adaptation
  • Multiple packet priorities for QoS across Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Optional shared antenna
  • Support for standard 2, 3, 4 wire interface

Leveraging in-depth understanding of the interaction between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios when both are active simultaneously, as well as low-level control of both radios thanks to the programmability of the RPU, optimum performance can be achieved under all use cases.

Designed for SoC integration

The new Ensigma combo IP cores were built from the ground-up for integration into next-generation SoCs, leading to reduced power, footprint and bill-of-materials compared with conventional solutions. Advantages include:

  • Unified memory architecture for the lowest possible silicon footprint
  • Maximum use of unified system memory, minimizing on-chip RPU memory demands for data and program storage
  • Removal of interface bottlenecks and processing requirements for USB/SDIO
  • Reduction of off-chip communication and external I/Os for increased power savings
  • Better host power management for reduced overall system power consumption

Together with PowerVR graphics processors (GPUs), PowerVR video/vision processors (VPUs), MIPS CPUs, FlowCloud IP and other Imagination solutions, Ensigma RPUs are key elements of Imagination’s comprehensive IP portfolio for tomorrow’s connected processors.

Availability

The Ensigma Series4 combo IP cores are available for licensing now. Contact info@imgtec.com for more information.

About Ensigma Series4 RPUs

Ensigma Series4 RPUs provide a unique universal and highly scalable solution for integrating global connectivity and broadcast communications capabilities into SoCs. By combining the latest software programmable radio techniques with an advanced 4th generation multi-processor architecture, a wide range of communications standards are fully supported. The flexible hardware architecture of Ensigma Series4 RPUs means that the engine can be easily scaled to address everything from the smallest most cost-sensitive embedded connected processors to the most advanced connected smart TVs or tablets targeting global markets.

Ensigma RPUs support all key standards for connectivity including 802.11abg, 802.11n with up to 4×4 MIMO, 802.11ac with up to 2×2 MIMO, as well as Bluetooth. They also enable global TV products supporting DVB-T2, DVB-T, ISDB-T, ATSC, GB20600-2006 (CTTB), DVB-S2, DVB-S, ISDB-S, DVB-C, J.83B, ISDB-C; analogue TV; mobile TV including T-DMB, 1-Seg ISDB-T; and broadcast radio standards including DAB/DAB+, HD Radio, 3-seg ISDB-T, ISDB-Tmm and FM.

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies – a global leader in multimedia, processor, communication and cloud technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor solutions including graphics, video, vision, CPU and embedded processing, multi-standard communications, cross-platform V.VoIP and VoLTE and cloud connectivity. These silicon and software intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by an extensive portfolio of software, tools and ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, connected home consumer, mobile and tablet computing, in-car electronics, networking, telecoms, health, smart energy and connected sensors. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEM/ODMs. Corporate headquarters are located in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com

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Imagination Technologies’ Press Contacts:

UK: David Harold                      david.harold@imgtec.com         +44 (0)1923 260 511

USA: Jen Bernier-Santarini         jen.bernier@imgtec.com            +1 408-530-5178


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