Software Defined Radio

From high-level behavioral description to FPGA hardware implementation of flexible radio waveforms.

Software Defined Radio (SDR) is a flexible signal processing architecture with reconfiguration capabilities that can adapt itself to various air-interfaces. It was first introduced by Joseph Mitola as an underlying structure for Cognitive Radio (CR). The FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology is expected to play a key role in the development of Software Defined Radio (SDR) platforms. FPGA-based SDR is a quite old paradigm and we are fronting this challenge while leveraging the nascent High Level Synthesis tools and languages.
Actually, our goal is to propose methods and tools for rapid implementation of new waveforms in the stringent flexibility paradigm. We propose a novel design flow for FPGA-based SDR applications. This flow relies upon HLS principles and its entry point is a Domain-Specific Language (DSL) which partly handles the complexity of programming an FPGA and integrates SDR features.
Our studies include:

  • defining a Domain-Specific Language for high-level descriptions of radio waveforms,
  • generating hardware description (RTL) through the automatic synthesis of the DSL,
  • including design constraints in the description through Design Space Exploration of the architecture,
  • allowing Dynamic Partial Reconfiguration in the design process,
  • validating the design flow from Testbed with developments on the Nutaq Perseus platform, two standards (IEEE 802.15.4 and IEEE 802.11a) are targeting.

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