Friday, May 28, 2010

SDR Advantages and Disadvantages

For those unfamiliar with software defined radio and related topics, here's a great tutorial by VT. The slide set does a good job in defining SDR by showing how the physical layer is moved from hardware into software and how the radio adapts to its environment although that part leans more to the Cognitive Radio side. The advantages of SDR include reduced component cost because hardware specific components are replaced by DSPs and FPGAs. The number of components tends to be lower. DSP components can compensate for problems in other areas of the system. Disadvantages include power consumption, security, and overall cost.

The key difference between traditional radios and software defined radios is that the latter senses their environment and adapt to it. This is important particularly to government agencies such as the FCC who is in the process of reallocating spectrum usage in the TV bands. There's a shift away from rigid, spectrum allocations to a demand-based approach to maximum the usage in that band. Currently, spectrum usage in most bands in the USA range from .3 to 3%. As the need for more spectrum grows, a new paradigm will be needed to supply this bandwidth.

Best regards,

Hall T.


Blogger John said...

Providing useful information and really such a nice blog.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010 6:39:00 AM  
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