A DSP architecture optimized for wireless baseband

Chris Rowen,  Peter Nuth,  Stuart Fiske,  Marcus Binning,  Sam Khouri
Tensilica, inc.


The high computation demands of next generation cellular and broadcast wireless require both higher efficiency and greater flexibility in baseband processing. This paper introduces a new DSP architecture optimized for baseband applications, especially applications with heavy workload of complex filtering, FFT and MIMO matrix operations. The Tensilica ConnX BaseBand Engine processor core implements a 3-way VLIW, 8-way SIMD architecture that can sustain 16 multiply-add operations per second, and performance a full radix-4 FFT butterfly per cycle. At 400MHz, it provides almost 13GB per second of memory bandwidth and 1.6B complex FIR filter taps per cycle. It directly implements 8-way parallel division and 4-way parallel reciprocal square root operations. The rich programming environment, including vectorization of scalar C applications, allows easy deployment BaseBand Engine into cellular base-station, femto-cell and other software-agile radio applications, and into multi-standard broadcast receivers.