So we can finally start seeing cost effective SDRs. This is a really nice part, time to proto a simple SDR with it, hope they have a cheap enough dev kit. I wonder if it is power effective enough to consolidates radios in a type mobile chipset. Would be nice to consolidate basic WiFi, Zigbee and 2G GSM with a single radio for industrial apps. Freq range is good enough to accomodate 2.4 G WiFi.
I'm not sure why one would want to use a FPGA on a RF chip , given the existence of RF MCU's like the Si1000 series. You can program pretty much every RF function, and the MCU already has capability built into it to do complex packet assembly, and resend on error, and buffer handling.
So $4 buys you a SDR already off the shelf, without having to spent $1000's on getting the FPGA right.
(you can access the important parameters like frequenecy, modulation mode, IF filters etc through the serial port)
@GSMD: There is another problem with wanting to do multi band radios with a single chip, and that relates to the necessity of having inductors and filters to limit harmonics , not a problem if your SDR is receive only , but transmitters and transceivers need fairly complex analogue design to meet various regulatory requirements. If you stick to one band , say 2400MHz, then you can use the LCL filter on the datasheet.
Silabs do make Devkits, and modules for the Si1000 range (and others) . Search your favorite distributor for Si1000DK , pretty good value at < $100. (The Si1000 uses 8051 opcodes so no steep learning curve there) . (The Si1000 does 250-960MHz , 20dBm Rx -121dBm Rx , which is as good as you would get from an analog radio).
Yes, GSMD. As one of the contributors noted, Nuand (http://nuand.com/) amongst others has combined an FPRF and an FPGA to provide a low cost board capable of SDR. If you want just the FPRF on a dev kit, then the company supports an open source initiative (http://myriadrf.org/) where users can order a board and find more information.
I realize the xmit issues will be there. Was planning plugin filter modules for different freq ranges as an alternative but not sure how the extra connectors will do to attenuation.of course this means the xmit is stuck to one band. Fortunately have access to a full fledged rf lab and an anechoic chamber. There is a group that does lte basestations so I figure they can help me out.
Let me play with a couple of these kits including the nuand to see it pans out.
Hi Truekop. Spot on. This blog was originally posted last year, before the ADI AD9361 device was released. But hot news this week is that Lime has a new part too called LMS7002M. I am planning a blog to look at both the new devices in the near future.