Next Generation Software Defined Radio Operating Environment

First generation standards-based SDR OEs—originally defined by Department of Defense (DoD) contractors on the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program (see JTRS OE box below) — have reached their performance ceiling. A new breed of OE is necessary to ensure that the exciting benefits of SDR and the JTRS program are fully realized.When the JTRS program kicked off several years ago, OEs were developed by building custom implementations of SCA-compliant CFs on top of existing COTS middle-ware products. Given the multi-vendor nature of these initial JTRS OE implementations, the potential for end-to-end performance optimizations was limited. Further, specialized processors, such as digital signal processors (DSPs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) commonly used in resource-constrained platforms, interfaced with these OEs through a high-overhead custom hardware abstraction layer (HAL). The result first generation SDR OE’s are handcuffed performance-wise and struggling today to meet the increasingly high data rates and stringent SWaP requirements of resource-constrained, small form factor SDRs.

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