Cambridge Consultants Develops WiMAX Simulation Testbench

4/7/2005 - Cambridge Consultants has developed a WiMAX simulation testbench to support the launch of Aspex Semiconductor's innovative reference code for implementing multi-antenna basestations. The software simulates subscriber transmissions, providing an independent testing facility that can be used by developers alongside Aspex's radical 802.16d/e PHY baseband architecture in a familiar, PC-based software development environment.

Based on the Linedancer family of processors, Aspex's WiMAX PHY reference code delivers a software-defined radio architecture and support for multi-antenna techniques such as MIMO and beam-forming. This provide wireless OEMs with enormous performance and design flexibility.

Cambridge Consultants deployed a large team of engineers on the project, producing the simulator in just six weeks to support Aspex's WiMAX introduction. Written in MatLab, the model simulates WiMAX subscriber transmissions and channel noise, giving system developers the means to begin developing transceiver equipment, and to test and verify multi-antenna 802.16 design concepts in the lab.

"The simulator completes the development environment for this WiMAX baseband offering," says Tim Fowler of Cambridge Consultants. "OEMs can now start system development in confidence, using a platform that is inherently software upgradeable, and scaleable to accommodate any size of application."

"WiMAX represents an enormous business opportunity for communications OEMs, but as with all standards-based markets a fast time-to-launch is going to be vital in securing a critical share of the market," says Jacqui Adams, Product Manager with Aspex Semiconductor. "With the help of Cambridge Consultants, we have been able to prove the capabilities of the silicon and release a comprehensive solution early in the standard's lifecycle. This allows developers to start product development now, confident that their platform can evolve to support future changes in the 802.16 standards."

Aspex's fully software programmable Linedancer processor with its 4096 parallel processing elements is a key feature of the PHY reference code. The flexible front-end radio architecture allows vendors to deploy dynamically adaptable equipment that can modify its footprint as the subscriber base evolves. This creates a platform that may be software-upgraded with ease to support the evolving WiMAX family of standards, as well as the OEM's own ideas and IP for improved receiver architectures in areas such as antenna diversity.

The WiMAX subscriber model simulates an OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) transmitter. By creating simple scripts defining standard MAC messages, developers can simulate subscriber transmissions to exercise the basestation receiver.

Aspex recently launched its WiMAX Development Kit consisting of the Accelera PCI-X plug-in card, which implements the WiMAX basestation PHY in real-time, and the Cambridge Consultants Matlab testbench.

Cambridge Consultants won the design project from Aspex because of its extensive track record in wireless design. The consultancy has experience at all levels of radio technology from developing ICs and silicon IP including digital signal processors, through the design of mainstream wireless products such as mobile phone handsets, to high-end professional radio applications such as the software-defined radio used by the world's air traffic control network. Its expertise embraces many of the major wireless standards in use today including GSM, DECT, Bluetooth and ZigBee.

Cambridge Consultants Inc., 451 D Street, Boston MA 02210, USA. Tel: +1 617 532 4700; Fax: +1 617 737 9889;

Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DW, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 420024; Fax: +44 (0)1223 423373;

Aspex Semiconductor, Leywood House, Denmark Street, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2ER, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1494 558 121;;

Cambridge Consultants has for over 40 years enabled its clients to turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of over 200 engineers, scientists and consultants in offices in Cambridge (UK) & Boston (USA), it is able to offer solutions across a diverse range of industries including healthcare, industrial & consumer products, automotive, transport, energy & wireless communications.

Aspex Semiconductor is a leading edge fabless semiconductor company specializing in the delivery of extreme processors. These high-performance programmable processors replace FPGAs, ASICs and DSPs at a fraction of the cost. Aspex enables customers to reduce component costs, shorten time to market and reduce risk by moving to software defined products. In addition, the company offers services to speed adoption of Aspex products. Aspex Semiconductor has successfully demonstrated its architecture in the market place and by optimizing the unique benefits of the Aspex processor family, customers are able to keep pace with the most demanding market conditions. Headquartered in Buckinghamshire, UK, Aspex serves clients and partners worldwide. For further information visit

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