Software Defined Radio

What is a Software Defined Radio.

The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnF), an international non-profit corporation dedicated to advocating the advancement of radio technologies that support essential or critical communications worldwide, identifies a Software Defined Radio (SDR) as a “Radio in which some or all of the physical layer functions are Software Defined”.
SDR technology addresses the exponential growth in the ways and means by which people need to communicate. Data, voice, video, messaging, command and control, emergency response communications, etc. are all encompassing communication mechanisms currently within the SDR domain.
SDR is a solution to competing demands about providing greater access to communication means while keeping a tap on the equipment costs. SDR is a flexible and cost efficient solution where benefits can be realized by service providers, product developers and even reaching end users.

SDR technology uses software to perform radio-signal processing functions instead of using resistors, capacitors, feedback loops, or application-specific integrated circuits. In an SDR, mixers, filters, amplifiers, synchronizers, modulators/demodulators and frequency tuners  can all be written in software.

SDR is a technology capable of configuring a wireless device to work with multiple communication systems: cellular phone, pager, WI-FI transceiver, FM or AM radio, satellite communications terminal, etc. SDR is also a technology that facilitates interoperability among the communications systems used by military, police and rescue-relief teams.

SDRs work much like desktop computing where a single hardware platform can carry out many functions based on the software applications loaded. SDRs use high-speed reprogrammable devices such as digital signal processors (DSP), field programmable field array (FPGA), or general purpose processors (GPP).


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