White Paper: Software Defined Radio Handbook (Ninth edition)

Military Embedded Systems — December 9, 2011

1Software Defined Radio (SDR) has revolutionized electronic systems for a variety of applications including communications, data acquisition and signal processing. SDRs can dramatically reduce the DSP requirements for systems which need to process signals contained within a certain frequency band of a wideband signal. With the addition of FPGA technology, dramatic increases in system density have been coupled with a significantly lower cost per channel. Furthermore, FPGA technology allows one to incorporate custom algorithms right at the front end of these systems.

This handbook shows how DDCs (Digital Downconverters) and DUCs (Digital Upconverters), the fundamental building blocks of SDR, can replace conventional analog receiver designs, offering significant benefits in performance, density and cost.

In order to fully appreciate the benefits of SDR, a conventional analog receiver system will be compared to its digital receiver counterpart, highlighting similarities and differences. The inner workings of the SDR will be explored with an in-depth description of the internal structure and the devices used. Finally, some actual board- and system-level implementations and available off-the-shelf SDR products for embedded systems will be described.

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