Altera Corp., San Jose, Calif., and Lime Microsystems, a leading provider of field programmable RF (radio frequency) transceivers headquartered in the U.K., have entered into a Strategic Cooperation Agreement focused on jointly developing and promoting programmable solutions for a diverse range of broadband wireless markets. The agreement will result in the development of optimized field programmable radio frequency (FPRF) transceivers, digital RF and baseband solutions that will enable system designers to reduce their overall costs, lower power, shorten time-to-market, and customize designs for key wireless infrastructure, enterprise, military, industrial, test and medical applications. As part of the agreement, Altera has also made an equity investment in Lime Microsystems.
“We are pleased to have Altera as both an investor and strategic partner,” said Ebrahim Bushehri, CEO of Lime Microsystems. “Altera’s leading-edge technology, strong industry reputation, and diverse customer-base will allow us to quickly expand our business by providing complete field programmable RF and digital solutions to our customers worldwide. As the ‘Internet of Things’ and next-generation wireless networks take shape, our partnership will result in customers using programmable RF and FPGA technologies to accelerate their time-to-market and develop solutions that support existing and emerging wireless standards as well as proprietary wireless communication systems.”
As demand for mobile data traffic continues to increase, small cell wireless backhaul systems are projected to handle a quarter of mobile traffic by 2016, according to analyst firm Infonetics. This trend is reshaping mobile networks and carriers are looking for ways to simplify complexity and costs of small cell deployment.
Altera’s high performance FPGAs, coupled with single-chip RF transceiver technology from Lime Microsystems supporting all mainstream global wireless communication standards, will simplify small cell deployment and enable the creation of low- cost mobile networks.
Additionally, Myriad-RF, which was founded by Lime Microsystems and is a family of open source hardware projects for the prototyping and creation of fully configurable wireless platforms, also will give developers easy access to Altera-Lime optimized reference designs, boards, and software stacks and drivers to quickly, easily and affordably build next-generation wireless systems.
“We have been working with Lime Microsystems over the last several years and have been very impressed with their technology and the company,” said Jeff Waters, senior vice president for Business Units, Altera. “Lime’s technology has been adopted by companies around the world for a wide range of applications from software defined radio devices for military and emergency services to communications infrastructure, disaster relief networks, M2M technology and test/verification systems. Combining our technologies, reference designs and technical resources will provide even more rapid and expanded market adoption of Lime FPRF and Altera FPGA product and solution offerings.”
With the investment from Altera, the companies also will work closely in marketing, sales and technical support activities worldwide. In addition, the two companies will produce reference designs that can be further customized for specific applications and features. This will expand Altera’s FPGA customer base to include wireless applications beyond carrier grade base stations and remote radio units. These applications include enterprise wireless networks, small cell carrier grade infrastructure, military communication systems, software defined radio, and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications in the industrial, test and high-end consumer space.