SDR Architectures and Systems – Software Communications Architecture
In the world of software defined radio, the Software Communications Architecture developed by the SDR Forum and the Object Management Group defines how the system loads the waveforms, runs applications, and networks with other systems. The SCA focuses on the military’s JTRS program which seeks to combine the wide range of military radios into a common set using SDR techniques.
The SCA provides an open architecture that can handle multiple radios. These are interoperable over a wide range of frequencies and allow for other technologies to be included. The SCA also fosters software reusability.
The purpose of SCA is to provide portability of applications between different systems, leverage commercial standards to reduce development time, reduce software development through reuse of software modules, and build a set of architectures for commercial implementations. The SCA standard comes with an API to help define the relationship between waveform applications and the software defined radio system.
With additional standards and frameworks comes additional overhead. This additional overhead must be offset by additional increases in the performance of the core silicon. In this article, the author discusses the rise of high-level design tools and the rise of FPGA’s as the key to offset the additional overhead of frameworks in the SCA architecture.
Finally, reference architectures for SCA are numerous. One example can be found here and here.