In the age of diverse and unsettled wireless standards, the market needs flexible multiprotocol radios for handsets and basestations. These radios must be instantly self-configurable to roam from traditional GSM and CDMA networks to the expanding UMTS and LTE areas of coverage.
With different wireless standards evolving around the world, phone companies want to leverage a single programmable handset that can replace disparate designs for different regions.
With the 3G and LTE committees creating more wireless standards every year, software-defined radio (SDR) promises to replace the growing number of specialized radio chips on the handset circuit board with a single, multimode-programmable device. In addition, given the rising costs and risk of hardware design, SDR enables a cheaper and faster means to bring new basebands to market.
Figure 1. The baseband is the last barrier to fully programmable radio.
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To ensure the cost reduction of SDR platforms via economies of scale, software portability across processors must be achieved. The new generation of SDR, called multimode vector radio (MVR), offers that portability.