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Picochip has announced its strategy for an end-to-end femtocell reference solution that it claims will lower barriers to entry, minimise cost and accelerate time-to-market for femtocells.

Extending its partnership with Continuous Computing, the Picochip solution integrates optimised versions of Continuous Computing’s Trillium protocol stacks with Picochip’s system-on-chip products and femtocell management software.

The architecture extends from HSPA through to LTE.

Picochip will enable a single pre-integrated and optimised system that includes all the software modules for the complex control functionality required by femtocells.

This reference solution will address the key ‘pain points’ experienced by manufacturers when developing femtocells, such as interference management, security, timing and provisioning.

Among other features, Picochip’s solution will offer automated interference management and network self-organisation.

By building on its network monitor products, Picochip said it will make it easier for customers to create self-organising network capabilities within their femtocells.

Another component is the integrated software stack, licensed from Continuous Computing.

This bundling will eliminate the need for femtocell makers to buy-in separate software or invent it in-house – increasing flexibility and reducing time-to-market.

Although femtocells are self-configuring, they are still part of the network and operators need to provision them, to control system parameters, and to implement remote diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Picochip will integrate TR-069 and TR-196 compliant operations and maintenance (OandM) modules to allow these operations.

Operators need to be certain that femtocells do not leave them open to malware and malicious attacks.

Moreover, it is essential that consumers can trust that their conversations and data communications are private at all times.

Picochip said by combining control of the silicon with control of the applications, it can maximise the inherent capabilities of its silicon to enhance operator and user security.

The new offering will conform to the TR33.820 and emerging TS33.320 standards for femto security.

Femtocell systems demand precise timing and synchronisation to manage hand-over with the macro network and to conform to 3GPP requirements for interference management.

Such solutions have traditionally been complex and costly: by combining its system understanding with silicon design of the PicoXcell SoC, Picochip is working with partners to integrate a solution that meets the demanding specifications while reducing cost.

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