For less than $60,000, it is now possible to record and playback RF signals to evaluate radio signals all over the world. The impressive thing is that no longer do you need a technician and a van stocked with rack-mounted equipment to collect data. Now, if there is a problem with interference or dropped calls, the carrier can send out one of QRC's wide band transcorders (WBTs) and evaluate the signals in the lab. I recently spoke with QRC Technologies' CTO, Tom Callahan, about this new product. He explained that although he's wanted to create a WBT for years, the "technology finally allows us to do this for less than $60k, weighing less than 10lbs, and with a touch screen interface."
Another notable feature is that the WBT uses an open file format to record the data. "So you can collect signals off the air, and run the data through MATLAB. (This is great for universities). Other tools have their own file format that only works on their equipment," notes Callahan. "We have always been good at making things simple. This product is intentionally designed to be friendly to whoever might want to use it."
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.