Wireless data usage has doubled every year since the introduction of the smartphone. This usage has driven changes in wireless standards (such as 3GPP and CPRI) and network architectures (both mobile network and mobile backhaul).
Mobile cellular infrastructure has evolved from traditional analog circuit switched systems to today's 4G packet switched digital systems. These digital systems are based on orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO). During this transition, download rates have increased from tens of Kbps to tens of Mbps with corresponding changes to the physical layer and upper layers of the network. The increasing data rate has forced dramatic architectural changes, including macro, micro, and pico cells to form a Heterogeneous Network (HETNET).
Today's operators are incorporating LTE-Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation, CoMP, and eICIC, in LTE networks to boost data capacity. They are also researching techniques such as Centralized RAN (C-RAN) and 5G to boost peak download to the Gbps range.
Because of these dynamic requirements, wireless infrastructure operators are embracing the flexibility and future proofing offered by FPGA technology. Intel provides a complete portfolio of high-performance, mid-range, and low-cost FPGAs. These devices deliver the processing bandwidth and flexibility wireless applications require, including a complete ecosystem of intellectual property (IP), advanced signal processing techniques, and reference designs.