Ottawa's Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. says it has created a standards-based ToP algorithm and Timing Protocol software solution that could lead to wide deployment of home and enterprise femtocells. Femtocells are small cellular base stations which can to improve voice and data services by extending wireless network coverage. They can also reduce backhaul costs by routing wireless voice and data traffic through customers' broadband connection.
To bring reliable, high-quality wireless voice service, Zarlink says its ToP technology uses the packet network to provide synchronization for the femtocells. Based on IEEE1588-2008 and NTPv4 protocols, ToP technology offers frequency accuracy performance of better than 50 parts per billion (ppb) to align the femtocell timing signals with the cellular network. The algorithm and software is a standalone product portable to processor and system-on-a-chip devices from telecom equipment makers. Both IEEE1588 precision time protocol (PTP) and network timing protocol (NTP) solutions targeting WCDMA will be available to customers of chipmaker picoChip Designs Ltd. for porting to the PC302 and PC312 devices in early 2010, says Zarlink.