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Xilinx Press Release # 0514




Flexible, low cost solutions fulfill demand for "future-proof" wireless base stations

CANNES, France, February 14, 2005 - At the 3GSM World Congress today, Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), the world's leading provider of programmable solutions, unveiled its complete suite of silicon, software and IP solutions designed specifically to enable the "future-proof" programmable wireless base station. Xilinx offers a flexible, cost-effective alternative to traditional ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) solutions, significantly reducing CAPEX (capital expenditure) and OPEX (operating expenditure) costs through faster time-to-market, zero NRE (non-recurring engineering) costs, and field upgradeability.

Through remote upgrades, service providers can dramatically extend the base station lifecycle while eliminating the need for costly truck rolls and hardware development. For example, implementing bug fixes, deploying new services and tuning system performance can be easily executed by using a remote software download to reprogram the Xilinx device to meet the new requirements. For wireless networks consisting of tens of thousands of base stations, operators can benefit from dramatic OPEX savings of at least $10 million per base station network upgrade.

"We have many customers enjoying significant benefits and cost savings from using our programmable devices in their wireless base station networks," said Omid Tahernia, vice president and general manager of the Xilinx DSP Division. "In fact, one customer has upgraded their entire network of over 150,000 base stations year after year by simply downloading new software, saving them hundreds of millions of dollars."

"Our wireless design was pushing the performance envelope of programmable logic devices," said Wang Rae Kim, wireless system senior engineer in the System Division at LG Electronics, a leading wireless and consumer electronics company headquartered in Seoul, Korea. "We chose Xilinx Virtex-4 devices because the integrated DSP functionality enabled us to partition our design to cost-effectively address our performance needs."

Wireless Base Station Semiconductor Opportunity
Market analysts indicate that the worldwide semiconductor market for wireless base stations is expected to grow from $2.7 billion in 2003 to $5.6 billion in 2008. According to Jordan Selburn, Principal Analyst at iSuppli, the FPGA/CPLD revenue portion of this segment is forecasted to increase from $222 million to $382 million. In 2003, the $27B total wireless base station market was dominated by Alcatel, Ericsson, Lucent, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel and Siemens, which represented nearly 80 percent of the revenues (Source: ABI Research).

"New data services deployments and a rapidly changing roadmap are presenting new challenges to wireless semiconductor solutions providers," said Will Strauss, President and Principal Analyst at Forward Concepts. "Today's wireless base stations require unprecedented levels of flexibility and performance along with aggressive price points and significant power savings. These challenges can be addressed by FPGAs."

Organized to Serve the Wireless Base Station Industry
As the industry transitions from a high growth phase to a more mature state, cost pressures have increased in all facets of the infrastructure, including the wireless base station. The challenge next-generation base station deployments must overcome is to continually reduce the cost per channel, while adding functionality to support new services, protocols and changing subscriber usage patterns. Xilinx is addressing these needs through the coordinated efforts and expertise of three internal dedicated divisions: the Communications Technology Division (CTD), Digital Signal Processing Division (DSP) and Embedded Processing Division (EPD), enabling the development and delivery of end-to-end hardware and software solutions for wireless base stations.

Xilinx has invested over 10,000 man hours in the creation of key building blocks as part of a company-wide, next-generation wireless base station initiative to help accelerate customer development time, while reducing CAPEX and OPEX costs for the radio, baseband, and transport modules of the wireless base station. These solutions are based upon the industry's leading Virtex-4 multi-platform FPGA family, which delivers unparalleled flexibility and breakthrough performance at the lowest cost to effectively address "pay-as-you-grow" scalability while supporting the changing and differentiated traffic requirements of wireless service providers.

"Today's announcement is indicative of the design shift towards using programmable merchant components for base station design needs," said Wim Roelandts, CEO and chairman of the board at Xilinx. "Xilinx solutions enable much shorter product development time, helping to streamline product development costs and accelerate the delivery of next generation base station designs while also enabling significant CAPEX and OPEX savings for cellular companies."

Ideal Silicon for the Wireless Market
Enabled by the revolutionary ASMBL (Advanced Silicon Modular Block) architecture and advanced 90nm triple-oxide technology, Virtex-4 FPGAs deliver more options, higher performance and lower power to the wireless base station industry than any other FPGA family available today. With up to 256 billion multiply and accumulate (MAC) operations per second, the Virtex-4 family delivers programmable parallel DSP processing suitable to address the key elements of the baseband and radio module designs. With a 10x higher DSP performance-cost ratio than previous generation FPGAs, and a unique "micropower" architecture which reduces power consumption to a mere 23µW/MHz (typical) per XtremeDSP slice, Virtex-4 SX is the ideal co-processor for programmable DSPs. Virtex Series FPGAs are being used today in tens of thousands of base stations around the globe for digital pre-distortion and crest factor reduction applications. The use of these two applications, when applied across a deployment of tens of thousands of base stations, increases the efficiency of the power amps and results in OPEX savings of millions of dollars per year.

Wireless Base Station Reference Designs and IP Cores
The complete suite of reference designs and IP cores include:

Radio Module
Crest Factor Reduction (CFR) , Digital Pre-distortion (DPD), Digital Up Conversion/Digital Down Conversion (DUC/DDC)
Baseband Module
High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), Random Access Channel (RACH), Searcher, 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Program), 3GPP2TCC, Turbo Convolutional Codecs (3GPP TCC), Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI) Interconnect, Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) Interconnect
Transport Module
SONET/SDH Framers, Ethernet MACs, Network and Control Plane Processing, ATM Cell Processing, System, Memory and Backplane Interfaces

Xilinx Development Tools and Kits
Xilinx also offers a complete line of development tools and kits, such as Xilinx SystemGeneratorTM for DSP and the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit (EDK), to help reduce time-to-market and ease development for wireless base station architects and designers. Xilinx SystemGenerator for DSP is the preferred integrated environment for developing and de-bugging high-performance DSP systems such as wireless base stations. Xilinx EDK dramatically accelerates embedded development by automating previously manual steps and unifying hardware/software debug to find and fix bugs faster.

Pricing and Availability
Xilinx Virtex-4 devices are shipping now with prices for the smallest SX25 device starting at $59.99 each for 25,000 unit quantities. Visit for more information on Virtex-4 solutions.

The 3GPP TCC Encoder and Decoder LogicCores are immediately available and priced at $1,000 and $10,000 respectively. Also for CDMA2000 systems, the 3GPP2TCC Encoder and Decoder are immediately available and priced at $1,000 and $10,000. Additional solutions for the wireless market including the OBSAI, CPRI, RACH, Searcher, HSDPA Chip Rate, HSDPA Symbol Rate, DPD, and CFR reference designs and the DUC/DDC LogicCore are immediately available at no charge. Visit for more information.

About Xilinx
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit


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Editorial contact:
Tamara Snowden
Xilinx Public Relations
(408) 879-6146