What will the "IBM PC" of SDR Look Like?
So what are the key elements that need to be synthesized into a dominant design? In this paper the authors argue that it will bring portability of waveforms, maintainability, and allow specialization of waveforms.
Another key factor will be size. It will be greatly reduced from what we see today. Just as the IBM PC took computing from the mainframe/mincomputer world down to the desktop so the next generation of SDR will go down in size. Here's one example using Gumstix.
Finally, the cost must be low and the tools widely available. Defacto standards available at low cost will drive SDR applications into new areas and create a richer set of tools for more sophisticated applications.