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The tool covers all normal RF frequencies and can handle optical interconnect frequencies as high as 40 GHz, Basit said. But the actual frequency limit is design-dependent. The tool degrades as the size of the structure is approximately equal to a quarter of the wavelength,” he said.

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The tool covers all normal RF frequencies and can handle optical interconnect frequencies as high as 40 GHz, Basit said. But the actual frequency limit is design-dependent. The tool degrades as the size of the structure is approximately equal to a quarter of the wavelength,” he said.

To develop the FastMATH processor, the company worked very closely with MUD algorithm developer Mercury Computer Systems (Chelmsford, Mass.), said Veera Anantha, member of technical staff at Intrinsity.

We've looked at Mercury's parallel-interference cancellation scheme [for MUD], and found the problem there to be, firstly, very compute intensive. The second thing is that even if you partition the problem across multiple processors, you have to move huge amounts of data between these processors, since inherently, MUD requires you to cancel the interference for each user from every other user.”

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Specially designed for matrix computation, the FastMATH processor is particularly suited to the parallel-interference scheme. It also addresses partitioning and scalability via its high compute power as well as its RapidIO interface. We can support up to 48 voice users on one processor with an AMR [adaptive multirate] codec giving 12.2 kbits/s, and up to 64 users with two processors-with lots of overhead,” said Anantha.

If it performs as billed, Intrinsity's FastMATH might well solve the processing problem that makes Metawave's Feuerstein balk at the idea of a fast migration to MUD. When people talk about MUD they talk about bleeding-edge DSP farms and very high parallel processing,” Feuerstein said-which pretty much would put MUD on hold for the immediate future.

But not everyone believes MUD need be so distant. We believe it's very implementable now, and we're looking to get to trials this year,” said Barry Isenstein, vice president and general manager of Mercury Computer's wireless communications group. The company has already done extensive analysis of MUD performance in the field through the PA Consulting Group (Figure 4) .

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Mercury finds the Intrinsity solution very intriguing,” said Isenstein. It's one more option. We like it for its incorporation of RapidIO, since we firmly believe a [switched] fabric will be required for performance, as well as [for] the connectivity of the data and control planes.”

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Mercury's strategy for MUD, and for basestations in general, is to build a computer, not a MUD processor. We see an insatiable demand for processing power as the basestation goes from fixed functions to more software-oriented plans,” said Isenstein. So we need lots of scalability.” That scalability is essential, as with it comes the potential for basestations with integrated MUD, smart antennas, digital predistortion for low-cost power amplifiers and just maybe the Holy Grail of software-defined radio.

About the AuthorPatrick Mannion is the Editor of Communication Systems Design. He can be reached at .

Today, in a much cooler market, Nortel is struggling to find a buyer for the same unit at just about any price.

Frank Dunn, president and chief executive of Nortel, announced this week that the company is exploring various reorganization options that include further job cuts and the potential sale or resizing of the optical components business.

Nortel's situation underscores just how much the mergers and acquisitions market has changed for technology companies.

Many of the dot-com companies and start-up service providers that powered the upturn are gone and Nortel itself is a vastly different enterprise.

Since 2000, when its annual revenue peaked at $28 billion, Nortel has been on a downward slope. In 2001, the company recorded revenue of $17.5 billion and analysts expect it to post a further drop to between $11 billion and $12 billion this year. Hence, the need to cut costs and streamline operations, according to Dunn.

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