Cognitive Baseband Radio Architecture for 4G and Concurrent Streams

Imec announced a cognitive baseband radio (COBRA) architecture for 4G applications requiring up to 1Gbit/s throughput and multiple asynchronous concurrent streams (such as simultaneous digital broadcasting reception and high-speed internet access). COBRA is a low-cost, flexible architecture that is ideal for wireless communication where terminals give users ubiquitous broadband access to a multitude of services.

cognitive baseband radio (COBRA) - imec's reconfigurable baseband platform architecture

COBRA is an architecture for future mobile handsets, battery-powered wireless connectivity devices, and base-stations for small cells. The COBRA architecture can be customized to meet the requirements for many standards (WLAN (IEEE802.11n to .11ac), cellular (LTE to LTE-advanced), and broadcasting (DVB-T/H to DVB-T2)) and dedicated needs. The COBRA platform is now available for licensing. The reconfigurable radio architecture and related cores can be evaluated and tested at imec.

COBRA includes imec’s ADRES reconfigurable baseband processor, which features multi-threading and wide SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) capabilities. The associated tools enable C-based compilation and assisted parallelization over multiple cores and/or threads. This speeds up the design leading to shorter time-to-market and more energy-efficient radios. Imec’s low-power flexible forward-error correction (FlexFEC) processor template achieving high-speed turbo and LDPC is also included.

An LDPC-specific instance for multi-standard broadcasting has been derived to further optimize power and area. In addition, COBRA features an ASIP (application-specific integrated processor)-based digital front-end enabling flexible filtering synchronization and spectrum sensing. This component also enables hierarchical platform activation, resulting in idle power in the range of 2mW in 65 low-power CMOS technology for the baseband platform.

More information: Imec