Companies Outline SDR Advances (11/13)
Monday, November 13, 2006 | Comments
Several companies announced software-defined radio (SDR) advances. Texas Instruments made available its Small Form Factor SDR development platform. The platform, developed in collaboration with Xilinx and other third parties, provides signal chain hardware from antenna to baseband, as well as a software board support package that supports a complete suite of software development tools in an integrated development platform. With the kit, developers can design waveforms, as well as create and test single or multi-protocol radios for applications in military, public safety, commercial, professional mobile radio (PMR) and LMR communication systems, along with RFID readers. The product is one of the first targeted at the radio side of the SDR market, said Ram Sathappan, worldwide SDR marketing manager for Texas Instruments. The product covers the 360-960 MHz frequencies and is targeted at Project 25 and TETRA radio developers, Sathappan added. The companies pay a one-time licensing fee and then a hardware cost per radio of either $2,900 or $9,900 depending on the product functionality they select. The manufacturers then can test the SDR technology with their radios and customize it to their needs. Sathappan said TI is targeting the additional cost at $300 to $400 per SDR radio once commercially available for public-safety applications. He said eight to 10 two-way radio manufacturers have expressed interest in the product. In other SDR news, the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC), an agency of Industry Canada, announced the latest release of its SCARI Software Suite, an integrated development environment for SDR technology. Built on the open-source Eclipse environment, the tool set offers embedded-system software developers a platform-independent interface for the design, modeling, and monitoring of SDR products. Among the new features introduced, the Suite offers much finer design granularity, real-time model validation, and re-factoring capabilities. Developers will gain enormous advantage in development time, risk reduction, and cost savings as they prepare next-generation SDR products, CRC said. In addition, Selex Communications and PrismTech, a provider of productivity tools and middleware, announced an agreement for Selex Communications to use PrismTech's Spectra Tools for developing and deploying of an SDR product line. Selex Communications is involved in the Italian program for SDR and participates in international SDR programs, including those in the United States

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