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Bengaluru-based fab-less semiconductor company, Signalchip unveiled India’s first semiconductor chips for 4G/LTE and 5G NR modems in the presence of Telecom Secretary Ms. Aruna Sundararajan. The SCBM34XX and SCRF34XX/45XX series of chips, code-named ‘Agumbe’, is the result of over eight years of relentless and deep R&D by Signalchip engineers. These chips put India into an elite group of countries that own this widely used fundamental technology. So let's talk about signalchip Semiconductor Chips now.
Currently, in India, all devices and infrastructure, whether imported or domestically manufactured, use imported silicon chips. Silicon chip design is a very challenging activity requiring high-cost R&D, deep know-how and mastery of multiple complex domains. Hence, this technology is not available in most countries. The four chips include SCBM3412 (single chip 4G/LTE modem), SCBM3404 (single chip 4X4 LTE), SCRF3402 (2X2 transceiver for LTE) and SCRF4502 (2X2 transceiver for 5G NR standards). The chips also support positioning using India’s own satellite navigation system, NAVIC. The RF sections cover all LTE/5G-NR bands up to 6GHz
SCBM3412: 4G/LTE modem with baseband and transceiver
The Signalchip SCBM3412 implements all functions of a 2x2 dual carrier MIMO LTE base station in a single chip. The RF portions cover all LTE bands up to 6GHz. It also performs advanced front-end signal processing algorithms like crest factor reduction and predistortion.
SCBM3404: 4X4 LTE baseband modem
Signalchip’s SCBM3404 can transmit and receive 4 streams of data and can perform complex 4x4 MIMO reception. The chipset is targeted for larger form factor base stations to be paired with two SCRF3402 RF transceiver chips either through JESD204B ports on the same board or through a CPRI link when used in a Baseband Unit that connects to a Remote Radio Unit.
SCRF3402: 2X2 transceiver for LTE
The SCRF3402 chip from Signalchip offers all analog baseband and RF front end functions of a 2x2 MIMO wireless system in a single chip. It contains the RF portions like low noise amplifiers, power amplifier interfacing with the antenna, filters, high-speed data converters, frequency synthesizers, and mixers. The device also integrates a third auxiliary receiver to facilitate network listen, LTE-LAA listen before the talk and the reception of navigation signals. The chipset can also be paired with SCBM3404 for covering large area networks. It additionally offers direct operation with a CPRI interface with a reduced significant cost in remote radio units.
SCRF4502: 2X2 transceiver for 5G NR standards
Signalchip’s SCRF4502 builds on SCRF3402 to add 5G NR features and extends the capabilities of the complete transceiver chain. This includes low noise amplifiers, power amplifier interfacing with the antenna, filters, high-speed data converters, frequency synthesizers, and mixers to meet the requirements of 5G NR Frequency Range 1.
The combined multi-standard system-on-chip (SoC) can serve as a base station chipset for a wide range of form factors from low-cost indoor small cells to high-performance base stations. These are optimally designed to support evolving network architectures like Open RAN/CRAN with flexible interface configurations. The Agumbe series builds upon SCRF1401 which was supposedly India's first RF transceiver chip for high-performance wireless standards like 3G/4G and WiFi, Through the IPs created for this device, the company now has the potential to design products for multiple related fields and is currently forging ahead with additional chipsets for advanced 5G NR features. With India having more than 1.1 billion mobile phones in use, one of the highest in the world, Signalchip has created high performance and cost-efficient systems to enable densification of the network.
Signalchip adapts the principle of extreme design optimization as a way to achieve higher performance and Agumbe achieves same performance and functionality as the most advanced LTE modems in the industry while remaining in a relatively inexpensive technology node. This has enabled Signalchip to achieve this task in a significantly lesser cost.Furthermore, Signalchip’s smart hardware-software partitioning provide extreme design optimization to get more functionality/performance per gate. Extreme integration by including all components of the system from packet processing to high speed digital signal processing to analog baseband to RF components on a single chip, enables optimal analog-digital distribution of processing.
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