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GNU Radio A Free Software Defined Radio. Eric Blossom eb@comsec.com Blossom Research +1 831 917 3428 798 Lighthouse Ave., Suite 109 Monterey, CA 93940 USA. Thought for the day…. The milk of disruptive innovation doesn’t flow from cash-cows. David S. Isenberg. Overview.

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gnu radio a free software defined radio

GNU RadioA Free Software Defined Radio

Eric Blossom eb@comsec.com

Blossom Research+1 831 917 3428

798 Lighthouse Ave., Suite 109

Monterey, CA 93940 USA

thought for the day
Thought for the day…

The milk of disruptive innovation doesn’t flow from cash-cows.

  • David S. Isenberg

GNU Radio

overview
Overview
  • Software defined radio
  • Free (open source) software
  • GNU Radio
  • Software ATSC receiver

GNU Radio

what is software defined radio
What is software defined radio?
  • Get the software close to the antenna
  • Software defines the waveforms
  • Replace analog signal processing withdigital signal processing

GNU Radio

why sdr
Why SDR?
  • Flexibility
  • Quicker time to market
  • Multiple personalities (chameleon)
  • New things are possible:
    • Multiple channels at the same time
    • Better spectrum utilization
    • “Cognitive radios”

GNU Radio

disadvantages
Disadvantages
  • Higher power consumption than dedicated ASIC approach
  • More MIPS required
  • Higher cost (today)

GNU Radio

current sdr users
Current SDR users
  • Military
    • Consolidating a stack of radios
    • Bridging between radio networks
  • Cellular base stations
    • Avoid “fork lift upgrades”
    • Multiple standards on same system
    • New features to market quicker

GNU Radio

emerging sdr uses
Emerging SDR uses
  • Personal communication devices
    • Cellular / Paging / Wireless LAN(s)
  • PC based “generic transceiver”
    • Radio / TV
    • Emerging unlicensed RF band apps

GNU Radio

what is free software
What is “free software?”
  • “Free as in liberty”
    • User has access to the source
    • User is free to modify and is encouraged to contribute the modifications back to the community
  • A culture of innovation
  • Various licenses: GNU General Public License (GPL), Mozilla, Artistic License.

GNU Radio

who uses free software
Who uses free software?
  • World wide community of users
  • Publicly traded companies support or distribute free software: IBM, Red Hat, Mandrake
  • Linux
  • Apache web server
  • Not a fringe activity

GNU Radio

what is gnu radio
What is GNU Radio?
  • It’s a free software defined radio
  • A platform for experimenting with digital communications
  • A platform for signal processing on commodity hardware

GNU Radio

vision
Vision
  • Transmit and receive any signal
  • Create a practical environment for experimentation & product delivery
  • Expand the “free software ethic” into what were previously hardware intensive arenas

GNU Radio

what h w is required
What H/W is required?
  • Commodity PC
  • RF front end (e.g., TV tuner module)
  • Multi-channel applications / wide B/W:
    • High speed A/D (20 – 25 Msamples/sec)
  • Single channel / narrow bandwidth:
    • SoundBlaster, AC97 codec, etc.

GNU Radio

sdr atsc receiver is practical
SDR ATSC receiver is practical!
  • Commodity PC:
    • Dual processor Athlon 1800+ MP
    • 512 MB RAM / 120 GB disk
    • $1300
    • Can do:
      • 6 * 10^9 integer ops / sec
      • 4 * 10^9 FIR filter taps / sec

GNU Radio

atsc computational requirements
ATSC computational requirements
  • 1080i TSP decode takes about ½ of a single CPU
  • Naïve equalizer: about 2.5 * 10^9 taps/s
    • Smart s/w version: about 0.6 * 10^9 taps/s
  • Viterbi decoder: 10^6 decisions / sec.
    • Highly amenable to SIMD implementation
    • Short constraint length

GNU Radio

moore s law is on our side
Moore’s Law is on our side
  • Even if we’re off by a little bit, within 3 years we’ll have 4 times the performance for the same money.
  • General purpose hardware gets faster by itself (Intel, AMD, etc take care of it).
  • ASICs don’t get faster by themselves.
    • Even a die shrink is expensive & time consuming

GNU Radio

open source hardware too
Open source hardware too!
  • General purpose SDR PCI peripheral:
    • Tuner module $20
    • 25 Msample/sec A/D converter $12
    • Spartan II FPGA (100k gates) $18
    • Misc analog, SRAM, etc $10
    • PWB $10
    • Assembly & Test $10
  • Total cost to manufacture: $80

GNU Radio

gnu radio resources
GNU Radio resources
  • Home page (links to source code)

http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuradio

  • Mailing list

discuss-gnuradio-request@gnu.org

  • Archive

http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss-gnuradio

  • Open source hardware
    • http://www.opencores.org/projects/pci
    • PCI bridges, ethernet, memory controllers, etc.

GNU Radio

questions
Questions?

GNU Radio