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Picochip has launched the PC8219E, a class-three femtocell reference design that is claimed to bring femtocell technology to campuses, rural areas or ‘metrozone’ hotspots.

The solution builds on Picochip’s PC8208 and 8209 PHYs to provide a complete extended-reach HSPA femtocell baseband.

The PC8219E’s eight-user capacity, 2km range and support for vehicular mobility is said to make it well-suited for wide-area open-access femtocell deployments in areas where carriers need to cost-effectively enhance coverage and capacity.

Running on Picochip’s current production silicon, the PC8219E provides a seamless migration path to Picochip’s PC3xx Picoxcell SoCs.

The PC8219E is a programmable, flexible, easily integrated product that caters for multiple users, has self-configuration features and backhauls via the internet.

Featuring industry-standard FAPI and FRMI interfaces, as defined by the Femto Forum, the PC8219E also has fully-compliant security functions.

The design includes a network-monitoring function that allows the femtocell to reconfigure itself to behave like a handset receive chain, synchronising with a macro-base station nearby, improving network planning and providing the basis for Self- Organising Network (SON) functions.

This new variety of mobile cells has been termed ‘greater femtocells’ or ‘superfemtos’.

Such products are similar to the 3GPP ‘Local Area Basestation’ or traditional picocells, but add the femtocell’s capabilities to use standard backhaul and to self-configure for interference management.

The Femto Forum has recently standardised femtocells into class one (typically residential), class two (primarily indoor for enterprise) and class three (for rural, metro and wider area deployment).

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