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Software Modems

The concept of software modems is elegant in its simplicity: certain modem blocks traditionally implemented in silicon hardware are instead realized in software as algorithms. If these algorithms can be made efficient enough to run on a processor already existent within a device platform, the software-based modem approach can realistically deliver converged connectivity, and multi-media content anywhere.

Today’s consumer processor platforms are multi-core, and support complex mathematical and signal processing functions; in short, they are ideally suited to software modem implementation. Intel x86-based CPUs, ARM multimedia-centric processor cores, and other graphics and processor architectures now have ample capability to support software modems.

Note also that many modern and PC and portable devices are now incorporating combinations of CPUs, applications processors and graphics processors (GPUs). This combined processing power can be deployed in such a manner – including processing offload from CPU to GPU - to ensure the most efficient resource utilization.

By combining a software modem with a reconfigurable RF transceiver, consumer and PC device manufacturers can implement a platform strategy (“one product, all geographies”), and thereby realize a step-change in product cost.

Broadcast reception applications such TV, radio and GPS are ideally suited to implementation with a software modem architecture. Mirics’ core technology platform - FlexiTV™ - leverages the software modem approach to deliver the lowest cost global standards broadcast receiver.