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Software defined radio (SDR) platforms support up to 6GHz

Posted: 07 Feb 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ettus Research? software defined radio? RF transceiver? National Instruments?

Ettus Research has announced a pair of software defined radio (SDR) platforms that use open source components for development of wireless sensor networks and other applications up to 6GHz. According to the company, both platforms combine two RF transceivers covering DC-6GHz with up to 120MHz bandwidth through modular daughter cards and a large user-programmable Kintex-7 FPGA.

The USRP X300 and USRP X310 both feature multiple high-speed interface options, including PCI Express, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet and dual 1 Gigabit Ethernet and is available in in a convenient desktop or rack-mountable half-wide 1U form factor.

Ettus is a National Instruments company, and the USRP Hardware Driver (UHD) architecture that is common to all NI USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use interface for the platforms.

Developers can programmatically control the USRP with the UHD C++ API, or choose from a wide selection of third-party tools and software such as GNU Radio. The USRP X300 and USRP X310 use a flexible software ecosystem to deliver cost-effective, high-performance SDR solutions that help wireless system designers quickly create simple prototypes, develop complex systems and accelerate their wireless research.

Software defined radio platform

The open-source GNU Radio software code repository helps engineers interface with hundreds of active members supporting other users and growing the code base. Through this open-source community, GNU Radio software continues to evolve and address more applications including RF and communications system design encompassing both MAC and PHY research, spectrum monitoring and signal intelligence, and wireless sensors and tracking.

Both the USRP X300 and USRP X310 use the Kintex-7 family of FPGAs from Xilinx. The USRP X300 uses the XC7K325T, and the USRP X310 is based on the larger XC7K410T. Kintex-7 FPGAs integrate up to 1,540 DSP48 slices operating in parallel so USRP users can deploy custom or third-party signal processing algorithms onto each device. Users can process data in real time using their own DSP algorithms such as filters, modulators/demodulators and coders/decoders. They can also access and control the wide range of peripherals available on each USRP, including the RF front ends.

- Nick Flaherty
??EE Times Europe

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