Cambridge Consultants Develops Industry's Smallest 2G and 3G Femtocell Base Station

Cambridge Consultants, a leading design and development firm, today launched Sidewinder™, the smallest commercially available 2G and 3G small-cell platform. Ideal for use in mobile phone communications and professional radio, Sidewinder is software configurable between GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA+ and other SDR applications, providing new levels of adaptability for cellular base stations. It offers a low cost of entry for companies wishing to exploit these standards and sets a new benchmark in flexible, cost effective designs.

Built for the changing broadband mobile communications market, Sidewinder provides a solution for developers creating products that need to adapt as new wireless technologies and standards emerge. The novel radio design enables Sidewinder to operate at any carrier frequency from 375MHz to 4GHz and with a channel bandwidth from 200kHz to 28MHz. Available off the shelf, Sidewinder supports GSM link ranges up to and in excess of 40 metres indoors, and 200 metres outdoors. Sidewinder can be provided either as hardware supplied directly from Cambridge Consultants, or as a reference design that can be manufactured by licensees. Sidewinder is compatible with Cambridge Consultants’ own Centaur GSM/EDGE PHY software reference and WCDMA software from Picochip. Alternatively it can also be provided in combination with the Centaur GSM PHY as a complete development platform.

Sidewinder’s unrivalled flexibility is based upon two novel technologies. On the front end, Sidewinder makes use of the class-leading flexible radio device from Lime Microsystems Limited. Connected to this is Picochip’s latest PC312 Femtocell Baseband SoC, delivering high performance DSP and an ARM application processor combined with low power consumption, making it suitable for some battery-powered applications. Sidewinder can also be easily integrated into base station or mobile units for Police, Emergency Services and other Professional Radio users.

Fraser Edwards, Group Head of Radio Frequency Systems, commented: “In a product environment disrupted by new communications standards and the demand for ever-higher data bandwidth, we wanted to build a low cost base station which could be customised for just about any setting. With Sidewinder we have achieved this with the added bonus of being one of the most compact yet powerful designs on the market.”

“We have been working with Cambridge Consultants for many years,” said Rupert Baines, Vice President of Marketing at Picochip. “In Sidewinder they have applied their expertise to develop a high quality reference design for companies looking to get a head start in today’s mobile communications market. We are very pleased to have our technology be part of such a groundbreaking design.”

Philippe Roux, Vice President of Business Development at Lime Microsystems, added: “The strength of Sidewinder is Cambridge Consultants’ novel use of the LMS6002D multi-standard, multi-frequency transceiver IC, which fully exploits our chip’s flexible nature. We look forward to collaborating on future projects, and pushing the boundaries back even further on what is possible.”


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