Some key goals of next-generation communication systems are the ability to provide much higher data capacity and system re-configurability while also reducing power, board area, and cost. These competing requirements are forcing re-evaluation of the capability of traditional system architectures to address many market demands including:
- Increased number of received channels for additional data capacity and capability Increased programmability and re-configurability to reduce re-design costs and
- enable easy customization
- Reduced energy consumption to improve system reliability, address regional and
- global green initiatives, and reduce operating expense
- Reduced board area and solution bill-of-materials
These market trends can be elegantly and efficiently addressed by a new breed of wideband software-defined radio (SDR) solutions. Recent advances in analog-to- digital converter (ADC) technology (12 bits at 3.6-GSPS) have enabled the development of wide bandwidth SDR systems that can simultaneously process multiple channels at high input frequencies. With this new ADC capability, systems can be developed that digitize entire input frequency bands with high resolution, removing the need for multiple receive paths or expensive analog filtering. Instead, all of the channel filtering can be implemented in the digital domain, where it can be accomplished at much lower power, area and cost, and with much better performance (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). Moving signal processing into the digital domain also allows for easier programming and on-the-fly system parameter reconfiguration, yielding truly programmable (or software-defined) systems.
Check out the full text of Part 1 of this article here
(no registration, no funny business, just a link to the article). This part outlines traditional hardware-defined radio solutions and a new software-defined radio solution. It also covers system performance concerns and what are traditional specs for ADC.
Part 2 will will detail the limitations of traditional specs for SDR, and which ones really matter. It will publish September 23rd.