Section: Application Domains
The future generations of telecommunications constitute a privileged field of applications for IC designers because of the diversity of the constraints to be satisfied. Very high-level of performance – superior to 12 billion operations per second – is required as the result from the association of multimedia capacities and access techniques such as the WCDMA (known as 3G). Flexibiliy and programmability is needed in order to support the whole of the algorithms integrated into the standards of present generations (GSM, DEC, IS-95) and their evolutions.
From the point of view of hardware architectures, the next generation systems will have to deal successively with very different applications. Indeed, the common tasks in a third-generation communication chain manipulate variable data sizes according to distance separating the task from the transmitter or the receiver, – the application tasks handle data of high-granularity such as images whereas the tasks giving access to the transmission operate on bit-level data. Because of the importance of the application spectrum integrated into the future telecommunication standards, the computation treatments to be applied to these data will also be very diversified, which will result in very different calculation patterns. Even if each one of these constraints can be supported, combining them is challenging. Moreover the time-to-market constraints impose the definition of development tools as portable as effective. Current architectural solutions does not offer practical solutions for energy aware products (lower than 500mW in peak).