Freescale introduces the multicore MSC8154 DSP to speed adoption of LTE and other 4G wireless standards

August 27, 2009 | SHENZHEN, China (Freescale Technology Forum China) – Freescale Semiconductor introduces the MSC8154 processor – a four-core version of Freescale’s award-winning, high-performance MSC8156 digital signal processor (DSP).

August 27, 2009 | SHENZHEN, China (Freescale Technology Forum China) – Freescale Semiconductor introduces the MSC8154 processor – a four-core version of Freescale’s award-winning, high-performance MSC8156 digital signal processor (DSP). The device is designed to add a variety of price, power and throughput options to Freescale’s portfolio of high performance DSPs based on StarCore® technology.

The MSC8154 is manufactured using 45-nm process technology and is pin- and code-compatible with the MSC8156 device. This allows designers to use the same board design for lower bandwidth macro- or micro-base station designs.

Freescale also introduces the availability of supporting software to help OEMs speed software development for 3G-LTE base stations, as well as a high-density reference board design and DSP enablement platform that enables customers and third parties to speed development of next-generation wireless infrastructure equipment. The MSC8154AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card) integrates three four-core MSC8154 DSPs and is designed for 3G-LTE, TDD-LTE, WCDMA and WiMAX base stations as well as media gateway systems. Freescale also offers the MSC8156AMC solution, which is based on the six-core MSC8156 DSP.

“Freescale’s MSC8154 processor builds on the success of the MSC8156 six-core device and introduces a lower cost option with optimized performance for lower bandwidth base station applications,” said Scott Aylor, general manager of DSP Products for Freescale’s Networking & Multimedia Group. “In addition, the AMC reference design provides OEMs with an ideal platform to take full advantage of the benefits of future wireless standards.”

About the MSC8154 processor
The MSC8154 is a single device that features four fully-programmable 1GHz DSP cores delivering 4GHz of DSP processing power, plus the innovative MAPLE-B multi-standard baseband specific accelerator. This combination, delivered in a single system-on-chip, is ideal for use in cost-optimized systems.The industry-leading SC3850 DSP core enables the MSC8154 to deliver up to 32 GMACS of 16-bit performance. The processor features high speed standard interfaces (Dual sRIO, Dual SGMII, Dual DDR-3 and PCI Express technologies) and large embedded multilevel memory with high speed DDR interfaces.

The MSC8154 DSP’s onboard Multi-Accelerator Platform Engine technology for baseband, called MAPLE-B, works in concert with the four DSP cores to support the 3G-LTE, TDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA and WiMAX standards, as well as the symbol rate functionality of HSPA+. Delivering multi-standard capabilities on a single platform eliminates the need to redesign hardware for different base station standards, so the device is scalable across macro-, micro- and pico-base station form factors.

MSC8154AMC reference design and developer support
The Freescale MSC8154AMC reference development system is a high density, single width, full height DSP platform, based around three MSC8154 DSPs. With a high level of performance and integration, the MSC8154AMC is an ideal enablement platform for customers and third parties who are developing and debugging solutions for the next generation of wireless standards such as 3G-LTE, WiMAX, HSDPA+ and TDD-LTE.

Each MSC8154 has 1GB of associated 64-bit-wide DDR3 memory split into two banks. High throughput RapidIO interface links connect the MSC8154 processors to each other and to the data backplane. The RapidIO interfaces interconnect via the IDT CPS10Q sRIO switch. For the control/data plane, each of the two RGMII gigabyte Ethernet ports links to the backplane ports and a front panel port through an Ethernet switch. A Module Management Controller (MMC) performs hot swapping and board control.

Freescale also offers a full set of development tools and enablement software for the MSC8154 and MSC8156 DSPs including a highly optimized 3G-LTE software library. Freescale’s MSC8156 DSP wireless infrastructure customers are already utilizing this 3GPP LTE software kernel library, which provides highly optimized modules for both the uplink and downlink shared channels. The code is delivered with comprehensive test harnesses, documentation and recommendations of how to architect code for interfacing with the MSC8154 or the MSC8156.

Pricing and availability
Freescale is currently sampling the MSC8154, with general availability planned for October 2009. Housed in a 783-pin FC-PBGA package, it is offered at 1GHz core speeds. Suggested resale pricing is expected to start at $165 (USD) in 10K volumes. The LTE software is available now, and the MSC8154AMC and MSC8156AMC reference platforms are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2010 for a suggested resale price of $6,000 (USD). For more information please visit

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.

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