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Xinyi Selects Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP for New Highly Integrated NB-IoT Modem

Huachang Technology’s NB-IoT Protocol Stack Optimized on the Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP Reduced Code Size by 20 Percent


Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced that Xinyi Information Technology, a leading narrowband (NB) internet of things (IoT) startup and provider of systems-on-chip (SoCs) and solutions for IoT, has licensed the Cadence® Tensilica® Fusion F1 DSP for its new Marconi X1 NB-IoT SoC. The Fusion F1 DSP enables a single-core solution, which helps lower cost and reduce design area. The highly integrated Xinyi Marconi X1 modem is the first to integrate a CMOS power amplifier in a single die and features an NB-IoT protocol stack from Huachang Technology, who was able to optimize the stack on the Fusion F1 DSP and reduce code size by 20 percent compared to other processor architectures. The Xinyi Marconi X1 modem solution is being demonstrated in Hall W5.P2.7 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai, June 27-29, 2018.

The Xinyi Marconi X1 NB-IoT modem SoC supports the global NB-IoT specification and is compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 and the latest Release 14. It will be used for a wide variety of IoT applications, including smart city, smart logistics, industry 4.0, smart home and wearables. Based on several patent-pending technologies, the highly integrated modem includes a power amplifier, RF, analog, power management unit, baseband and an application processor. It also boasts ultra-low power—less than 1uA in power-saving mode (PSM)—in a small QFN48 package. The fully programmable modem architecture enables the chip to implement additional communication protocols including proprietary wireless network communication needs.

Due to its efficient instruction set architecture for communications, the Fusion F1 DSP is ideal for NB-IoT modem solutions. Implementing the modem on the Fusion F1 DSP makes it easier to update and upgrade to accommodate future standards. Because the Fusion F1 DSP is adept at running DSP and control code workloads, the L1/L2/L3 can all be implemented on a single core. This can lower power and reduce cost compared to alternative solutions.  

“As the applications for NB-IoT grow from smart cities to industrial to wearables, our customers require lower power, lower cost and easier deployment,” said Jianhong Xiao, CEO of Xinyi. “Our new Marconi X1 modem based on the Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP delivers on these demanding requirements as the most integrated modem on the market today and the only one with an integrated power amplifier, which can reduce cost by up to 30 percent compared to using a separate power amplifier. Our software-based modem architecture allows us to run additional IoT applications directly on the modem as well as support future NB-IoT standard updates and upgrades.”

“Given our years of experience in protocol stack development, we know that our customers will need assistance and guidance certifying modems on cellular carrier networks,” said Zhang Donghui, CTO of Huachang. “We have expertise with the Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP and in supporting Chinese customers through this process to ensure success. Our highly optimized and proven NB-IoT L2/L3 software stack can accelerate time to market for Xinyi’s Marconi X1 modem customers.”

“Based on its extremely high levels of system integration, Xinyi’s Marconi X1 modem will enable low-power and low-cost deployments of Release 14 NB-IoT,” said Gerard Andrews, director of marketing for Tensilica products at Cadence. “In addition, the proven L2/L3 software from Huachang will ensure that end customers get to market very quickly. The Fusion F1 DSP helps make this solution possible by combining a powerful DSP instruction set with excellent control performance, both of which are needed in an ideal NB-IoT product.” 

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