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Software radio technology


Main Objective

Global roaming, which allows user mobility in terms of services and locations, is a major goal of the 3rd generation of mobile communication systems. Radio access reconfigurability is a promising technological and economic alternative in order to deploy flexible, modular, multiband and multimode radio systems. In accordance with the Generic Radio Access Network (GRAN) approach, which separates radio dependent from radio independent parts, SORT aims to demonstrate flexible and efficient software (SW) programmable radios, thus:

-set the requirements for adaptive Radio Access including the definition of a functional architecture and digital signal processing requirements (e.g. A/D conversion requirements relative to system constraints and filtering capability),

-study and design more flexible and efficient process architecture,

-implement critical radio functionalities on reconfigurable hardware (HW) for two types of air interface,

-strongly relate the whole project to the standardisation of UMTS/FPLMTS. SORT motivation and objective

Technical Approach SORT is organised in three phases:

-the system study which identifies air interface functionalities and provides a classification of functions (i.e. separate common from critical functions). Indeed the deployment of SW radio depends on the power consumption required to process real-time functions. The definition of digital signal processing requirements will ensure the optimisation of the process (relative to complexity and power consumption).

-the study and design of critical functionalities which condition the feasibility of SW programmable radios. The study and design of suitable processing architectures will take into account the implementation constraints of reconfigurable HW (HW technology characteristics and SW portability). This phase includes analytical analysis and performance evaluation (simulations) of appropriate algorithms and processing architectures, optimisation of all critical algorithms in real-time processing language (i.e. C language) for their implementation on reconfigurable HW (i.e. demonstrator target boards), and extrapolation to real equipment so as to estimate complexity and power consumption for various types of base station or mobile terminal.

-the implementation on a demonstrator of a set of critical functionalities ending with feasibility assessment.

Summary of Trial

The planned trial will implement two critical radio receiver functionalities (channelisation and sample rate adaption) on reconfigurable HW for two types of air interface (Terrestrial-UMTS and Satellite-UMTS). The demonstration platform will be a PC or Workstation that actually implements common functions, whereas critical real-time functions are performed in specific additional boards (i.e. project developed).
Expected Achievements

-Functional architecture for SW definable air interface (focusing on lower layers of the protocol stack).

-Classification of functions: a.general and non-real time functions that can be made common across multiple radio operating environment, b.critical and real-time functions which are specific and dependent on the radio transmission technique.

-Study optimised design and implementation on reconfigurable HW of two radio receiver functionalities (channelisation and sample rate adaption) for two types of air interface (Terrestrial-UMTS and Satellite-UMTS).

-Validation of process architectures and technologies enabling SW radios.

-Contributions to standardisation (definition of "SW Radio" as first step).

Expected Impact

-The demonstrator will bring the SW radio concept to reality, hence accelerate the development of adaptive platforms in Base Stations / Fixed Earth Stations, Satellites and Mobile Terminals.

-The project will result in a major advance in the state-of-the-art for signal processing architectures.

-The final synthesis of the system study that integrates the evaluation results of the demonstration will provide guidelines and key recommendations for future SW radio-communications and future R&D work in this field (5th framework).

-Possible new possible applications of the SW radio concept will be identified (e.g. satellite on-board processing).

-Support for the standardisation process of 3rd generation of mobile communication systems as regards adaptive Radio Access.

Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
SORT demonstrated flexible and efficient software (SW) programmable radios by setting the requirements for adaptive Radio Access including the definition of a functional architecture and digital signal processing requirements. The project implemented critical radio functionalities on reconfigurable hardware (HW) for two types of air interface (GSM and W-CDMA).
Contribution to the programme
Software Defined Radio technologies are one of the most important innovations for the future mobile communications networks. This project laid the foundation by demonstrating concept feasibility.
Key Issues

-requirements for adaptive Radio Access,

-design requirements for efficient digital signal processing (so as to obtain improved trade-off between performance and complexity, hence power consumption),

-SW portability,

-HW reconfigurability,

-optimisation of the process design in accordance with implementation constraints,

-assessment of the processing power and degree of flexibility of SW radio (versus conventional digital radio) achievable with current technology.

Call for proposal

Data not available


Alcatel Espace

92737 Nanterre

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Participants (6)

Lorenzstrasse 10
70435 Stuttgart

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Centro Studi e Laboratori Telecomunicazioni SpA
Via G. Reiss Romoli, 274
10148 Torino

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France Télécom
38-40 Rue Du Général Leclerc
92131 Issy-les-moulineaux

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SINTEF Telecom & Informatics
Mommsenstr. 13

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United Kingdom

GU2 5XH Guildford

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