Saturday, October 4, 2008

Universal Software Radio Peripheral

The Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) is an open source hardware device from Ettus Research and it is designed to allow general purpose computers to function as high bandwidth software radios. Its primary function is to serve as a digital baseband and IF section of a radio communication system. The basic design philosophy behind the USRP has been to do all of the waveform-specific processing, like modulation and demodulation, on the host CPU. All of the high-speed general purpose operations like digital up and down conversion, decimation and interpolation are done on the FPGA.

The USRP has four 64 MS/s 12-bit ADCs, four 128 MS/s 14-bit DACs, four digital downconverters with programmable decimation rates, and two digital upconverters with programmable interpolation rates. It uses a USB 2.0 interface (480 Mb/s) and is capable of processing signals up to 16 MHz wide. The modular architecture supports a wide variety of RF daughterboards as well as auxiliary analog and digital I/O.

Currently, Team FREDNET uses the USRP together with GNU Radio as an open source platform for prototyping and testing communication subsystems.

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