Irish teams to spearhead major telecoms R&D

10 Apr 2007

US multinational Xilinx, which employs 450 people in west Dublin, has entered into a joint venture with the €69m Centre for Telecommunications Value Chain Research (CTVR) to pioneer research into advanced future telecoms and networking systems.

The joint venture will see Xilinx support the CTVR with its own finance and research resources.

The CTVR was set up in Ireland in 2005 by Bell Labs and is spread across eight Irish third-level institutions with Government funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

“This is a unique opportunity for Xilinx to participate in a consortium of relevant industry and academic partners,” explained Dr Robert Esser, director of Xilinx Labs in Ireland. “We have already established our own research laboratory at our Irish facility in Dublin and this programme is a great fit for us.”

The new initiative involving Xilinx will focus on achieving a breakthrough in the field of adaptive radio technology.

This field involves exploring ways of enabling a mobile phone to “intelligently”‘ alter its radio frequency system to work on any country’s cellular phone network.

This would be a major boost to the global telecommunications industry and phone users where several cellular standards currently operate across the world.

Handsets that work in one network have to be manually reprogrammed to work in another and in some cases they do not work at all.

CTVR aims to produce the technology that will allow a mobile phone to reconfigure itself automatically to each network.

The project that Xilinx is supporting will be based at Trinity College Dublin.

Trinity is developing the required software and Xilinx will install the software on its chips. Xilinx is already a major provider of programmable semiconductors to the telecoms industry.

“That Xilinx has shown such faith in us is testament to the quality of talent available in Irish third-level research institutions and a vindication of the mission of CTVR to be a centre for the development of commercially significant products derived from world-class advanced research,” said the director of CTVR Professor Donal O’Mahony.

By John Kennedy