Software defined radio

Researcher : Arkesteijn, V.

Supervisor(s) :

Project Duration : september 2000 - march 2005

Project Description

Contemporary (mobile) radio receivers and transmitters are usually built using dedicated hardware, which makes them quite inflexible. With software defined radio on the other hand, all the important radio parameters are controlled by software.

Some important potential advantages of this concept are:

A fully configurable radio can switch to any radio standard, which enables true global roaming. When the user arrives in another region, with another standard, the radio can automatically adapt to this.
Low cost.
Because everything is determined by software, the hardware can always be the same. Economy of scale then lowers production costs.
High performance and long battery life.
The mobile radio terminal has a dynamic environment. A software defined radio can easily adapt to this, enabling it to constantly have an optimal trade-off between performance and energy consumption. So: high performance when necessary, low energy consumption when possible.
Short time to market.
New standards for mobile radio can rapidly be implemented in a software defined radio, because only the software has to change. The hardware can remain unchanged, which has a huge impact on time to market.

Possible architectures for a radio receiver range from conventional (such as the super heterodyne) to an ideal software radio, with the A/D-converter attached directly to the antenna. The former suffers from lack of flexibility, while the latter is very flexible, but unfortunately unfeasible. The big challenge is to find an architecture that is both flexible and feasible.

This project aims at the analog front-end subsystem of a mobile software defined radio. This is part of the PROGRESS project "Development of a software-radio-based mobile terminal".
The group Signals and Systems is also involved, and concentrates on the digital parts of the software defined radio.
Some more information can be found on our joint project homepage.