Design house pairs Centaur PHY with PicoChip baseband

LONDON — Electronic design consultancy Cambridge Consultants Ltd. has developed Centaur, a physical layer integrated circuit for GSM/GPRS/EDGE/E-EDGE cellular communications.

The company also has a reference design incorporating Centaur that enables the development of cellular and femtocell basestations that incorporate 2G and 2.75G capability. The design is intended to address the ultra low-cost, mass-market and integration requirements of the developing world, Cambridge Consultants said. The reference design includes a complete framework model with code implemented on the picoArray baseband from picoChip.

By the end of 2008, there were 365 million GSM subscriptions in Africa, 100 million of whom had joined during that year, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GMSA). India saw 47.5 percent growth in GSM subscriptions in 2008, rising by an average of 6.83 million subscriptions each month, from 170 million to over 250 million.

“GSM will still be in operation for many years if not decades to come, delivering the services required by billions of subscribers and so it is critical that the deployment of mobile infrastructure includes GSM capability,” said Tim Fowler, commercial director at Cambridge Consultants wireless division. “One of the challenges for the developing world in particular is the cost of infrastructure. Because of its ultra low development, integration and deployment costs, we believe that Centaur can make a significant impact.”

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