Introduction on Software Defined Radios
According to the SDRforum, the term software defined radios (SDRs) is used to describe radios that provide software control of a variety of modulation techniques, wide-band or narrow-band operation, communications security functions (such as hopping), and waveform requirements of current and evolving standards over a broad frequency range. Clearly, the level of control is bounded by the operation range of the RF front-end, but enables the design and operation of SDRs with a high level of flexibility. This flexibility of operation of SDRs allows for the re-use of hardware architectures and platforms. This property is the main benefit of SDRs.
Applications and business scenarios
concept allows for the deployment of simple hardware platforms built using SDRs
to enable operators to modify both the network and the devices of their
customers to perform different functions at different times. This allows:
SDR-expertise at IMST
IMST is one of the leading institutes covering all aspects of current and future wireless systems. Our expertise enables the design and implementation of highly flexible RF front- ends, which stretch the application range of SDR. Furthermore, IMST and partners(CSEM, CSELT and Kurtosis) have developed a software architecture for SDRs within a European project named SLATS. The architecture consists of several software libraries containig flexible signal processing modules, e.g. Rake receiver, and a supervisor in charge of module configuration, module operation scheduling and inter-module signal transport. Its correctness has been proven with a demonstrator based on a DSP-platform, which has been successfully demonstrated at the project final audit.
"The bright future for software defined radio"
Currently, RF front-ends bound the application range of SDRs. For illustrative purposes, assume the scenario where a handheld should support communication over X different frequency bands, the handheld requires X front-ends. Leading to a handheld with excessive physical dimensions and power consumption, making it to an commercially unattractive device. Currently, a new communication technology appears at the horizon, called impulse radio (IR), which allows for a front-end with a high level of flexibility and scalability. The combination of SDR and IR could fulfill the promise of a true SDR and hereby has the potential to change the world of wireless communication drastically. IMST is strategically involved in the development of IR system architectures and economic scenarios within the European project Whyless.com.