Electronic Design

Study Foresees SDR In Broadband Driver Seat

Commissioned by the SDR Forum, a nonprofit association for reconfigurable wireless technology, a 53-page study titled “Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and Beyond 3G/4G” alleges software defined radio (SDR) may be a key player in emerging broadband wireless access markets. As demand increases for transparent access to triple-play services (voice, Internet, and video), broadband appears to be the next big growth market in telecom with SDR poised to play a major role. The study focuses on platform sharing as being a crucial consideration. For example, multi-radio technology, a trend in cellular and BWA, includes multiple radio standards on one mobile, portable, or infrastructure platform. GSM cellular, WiFi, and GPS could operate in parallel, therefore an SDR would need to perform both waveform selection and simultaneous operations. The study claims future cell phones may integrate as many as 11 radios with their related components and often operating on unique frequencies simultaneously. It also points to recent advances in semiconductor, RF, and data acquisition technologies that provide opportunities for SDR to extend programmability for more transceiver algorithms. Reportedly, this will lead to lower development costs, faster times to market, better reuse of intellectual property, and support for multiband and multimode RF operations.

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