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IP targets robust wireless digital video distribution

Cambridge (UK)

1 August 2003

Cambridge-based Commsonic has announced details of a new core in its range of "costimisable" IP that is targeted at the latest generations of low-cost, DSP-oriented FPGA devices. The IP cores are crafted to allow developers to trade-off feature set and performance against FPGA resource utilisation and thereby component cost and power consumption.
The new core, the CMS0009, is a digital modulator that is compliant with the COFDM DVB-T standard and aimed at applications such as digital closed-circuit TV, mobile video and test equipment.
CMS0009 Product Manager Andy Coates explained that the receiver technology for DVB-T is mature, robust and has seen its cost driven down by the widescale roll-out of commercial digital TV and the advent of "Freeview" set top boxes. "Equipment designers can combine existing, off-the-shelf, baseband receiver technology with the CMS0009 and a custom radio to create cost-effective and robust point-to-point wireless video links" he said.
The DVB-T COFDM physical layer protocol is designed to cope with the high levels of multipath that affect non-line-of-site radio links and is one of the few standards that is able to deliver reliable broadband data in vehicular mobile applications. These features have been recognised by the major wireless standards bodies which are currently investigating COFDM as a candidate modulation scheme for a 4th generation (4G) cellular Standard.
The CMS0009 is fully-compliant with ETSI Specification EN300 744, providing support for both the 8k-tone and 2k-tone OFDM formats, 4, 16 and 64-QAM and hierarchical encoding but caters for a high degree of customisation. A fully-featured modulator requires an FPGA with the resources of a Xilinx Virtex XC2V1500 II device whereas a version optimised for mobile video, and restricted to 2k OFDM, can be realised with a low-end device such as the XC3S200 Xilinx Spartan III.

About Commsonic

Founded in 2000 as a spin out from hi-tech consultancy Symbionics, Commsonic provides technology, IP and specialist design services in the area of broadband communications. The CMS0009 is the latest core in the company's portfolio of high-speed, physical-layer IP which spans single-carrier (QAM) and multi-carrier (OFDM) modem technology and codecs for forward error correction.
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