WIRELESS

Software Defined Radio

Radio communication technologies are widely spread in many areas such as commercial, military, and meteorological. The traditional radio communication systems are built with hardware dedicated to specific applications that require different frequencies, bandwidths, modulation modes and coding protocols. As communication technology keeps evolving, the hardware-based implementation method is presenting noticeable disadvantages in terms of cost, production cycle, and compatibility. In order to avoid these disadvantages, a new conception called software-defined radio (SDR) technology has been introduced.

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SDR technology enables a general-purpose hardware platform to realize compatibility with different wireless communication systems by updating software configurations. It brings flexibility to radio systems, allowing adding new functions and upgrading system easily.

SDR systems could be implemented based on either RF sampling or IF sampling. The former sampling method directly converts RF signal into digital one so that the analog circuitry section could be reduced as much as possible. However this method results in high implementation difficulty because RF sampling needs extreme-high-speed A/D converters and DSPs. The latter sampling method is the popular one at present. It firstly converts RF signal down to IF signal, which is then sampled for digitalization. Although the method is compromised in terms of flexibility, the requirements on devices’ performance are greatly reduced and the implementation becomes much easier.

The hardware of a SDR system basically consists of antenna, RF front-end, ADCs, DACs, and a DSP. In order to cover a wider frequency band, a wide-band antenna or multiple antennas could be used. The RF front-end conducts a series of work including filtering, up and down conversion, power amplification, and low-noise amplification. The ADC operates in the receiving chain of the system to perform analog-to-digital conversion, while the DAC is located in the transmission chain for digital-to-analog conversion. Both ADC and DAC must feature sufficient operation bandwidth and speed to satisfy Nyquist sampling rate. In order to relieve the work load of the DSP, a DDC (Digital Down Converter) device can be used to convert the output of ADC into base-band so as to reduce data transfer speed. The similar device, DUC (Digital Up Converter), could also be used in the transmission chain for the same purpose. Another option for this functionality is using a FPGA as the substitute for DDC and DUC. The DSP is responsible for base-band signal processing such as modulation/demodulation, anti-interference and FEC (Forward Error Correction).

Moreover, modern communication systems usually adopt non-constant envelope modulation which commonly requires power amplifiers running in their linear regions, resulting in lower efficiency. Running the amplifiers in their non-linear regions could obtain higher efficiency, but a dedicated chip or a FPGA should be added before power amplifier to implement CFR (Crest Factor Reduction) and DPD (Digital Pre-Distortion) on signals.

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Performing digital up and down conversion to reducing data transfer speed for DSP
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Processing base-band signals
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Amplification of in/out-bound
signals conditioned for conversion or transmission

ADL5536ARKZ
ADL5536ARKZ
Analog Devices
AD8351ARMZ
AD8351ARMZ
Analog Device

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Used before power amplifier to amplify small RF signals
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A wide-band high-speed DAC used to convert digital IF signal into analog IF signal
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A wide-band high-speed ADC used to convert analog IF signal into digital IF signal
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Up-convert IF to RF (in transmission path) and down-convert RF to IF (in receive path)
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Up-convert IF to RF (in transmission path) and down-convert RF to IF (in receive path)
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Oscillator enabling up/down-conversion

TLC2932IPWG4
TLC2932IPWG4
Texas Instruments

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Filtering desired IF/RF signals

AD831APZ
AD831APZ
Analog Devices

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Filtering desired IF/RF signals

AD831APZ
AD831APZ
Analog Devices

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AD8339-EVALZ <
AD8339-EVALZ
Analog Devices
The AD8339 board illustrates the capabilities of the demodulator with programmable phase shifter. AD8339 is a key component of a phase shifter system that aligns time-skewed information contained in RF sigmnals. The AD8339 can be configured using the software provided with the board, or using an external digital pattern generator via the 20-pin flat-cable connector.
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CFTL-CN0134-EVALZ
CFTL-CN0134-EVALZ
Analog Devices
This circuit is an implementation of the analogue portion of a broadband transmitter - analogue baseband in / RF out. Its designed to evaluate CN0134, utilizing ADF4350, a fully integrated fractional-N PLL IC, that behaves as a local oscillator, upconverting analogue I/Q signals to RF.
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EVAL-AD5504EBZ
EVAL-AD5504EBZ
Analog Devices
This is an evaluation board for AD5504 allowing the user to fully evaluate all the functions and performance of the device prior to designing it into a system. The evaluation board can be used in a standalone mode with control coming from an external DSP or microcontroller, or it can be connected to a PC using the USB cable supplied with the evaluation board kit. Software is provided that allows the user to program the various registers of the AD5504 with ease.
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AD9284-250EBZ
AD9284-250EBZ
Analog Devices
This is a fully featured board that supports various modes of operation for the AD9284 Analogue-to-Digital Converter with application software.
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KSZ8873MLL-EVAL
KSZ8873MLL-EVAL
MICREL SEMICONDUCTOR
The Kit allows for development with KSZ8873MLL, an integrated 3-port switch on a chip , designed to enable 10/100Mbps switch systems, with advanced power management with energy detect mode that shuts the transceiver down when a port is idle.
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