Skip to main content

Configurable radio with Advanced Software Technology


The CAST demonstration platform used a scenario that included a simulated voice data service and the re-configuration after an emergency failure of a base station. The project had hoped to consider the impact of reconfiguration on services and the impact of services on the need and of timing of any reconfiguration. However, although a topic of discussion, actual tests proved to be too ambitious both in the time available and the functionality of the final platform.
Although not primarily funded by the CAST project the HW2000 board was designed with the considerations of the CAST project in mind. The primary consideration being the ability to reconfigure processing resources quickly. This is essential for supporting functionality such as vertical handover and in-call reconfigurations. Our knowledge of Xilinx configurations has allowed HW to develop further, spin off, applications. In simple terms, a watermark of ownership data can be overwritten into the bit stream without affecting the actual bits that define the FPGA functionality. This allows identification of owner and hence protects the IPR associated with the configuration bit stream. HW have taken this spin off project and developed into a commercial product. HW has also been involved in the novel hardware related work. The Physical Layer Controller (PLC) has been developed to provide a forward thinking approach to the control of current and future combinations of hardware. The concepts of the PLC have been patented. This protects the fundamental commonality provided by the information structure and interface provided by the PLC. The PLC has also been publicised under the brand name "Fizzware". Fizzware has attracted varied response and was presented to the SDR Forum. In the coming year the SDR forum plans to formalise a Hardware Abstraction Layer Standard. The Hardware Abstraction Layer Drafting Group (HAL-DG) has recently formalised the goal of the standard and it is HW's intention to propose the "Fizzware" concepts for inclusion in this standard.
Network Management functions of Reconfiguration Management and Fault Management are studied within a compositional framework according to a layered architecture consisting of the following five layers: - User Layer (integrated with the Mobile Station’s Local Network Manager) - Mobile Station Layer - Base Station Layer - Global Management Layer (located in the Mobile Switching Centre) - Operations Layer (addressing the operator's viewpoint; usually the outgoing channel to Operations Support Systems). The study results in the reduced application of available ITU-T Standards to the JAVA-oriented design of a complex object model suited for the Network Management of Software Radio. Objects modelling the radio network elements according to the layered architecture are provided, but also communication objects like Alarm Records deviated from X.721/M.3100 are included. The provisioning of reconfiguration, which is the main task of Software Radio, has been formalized by the design of service interfaces between the Network Management components and its neighbouring components. The provisioning service interface defines the cyclic actions of Installing / Activating / Deactivating / Uninstalling of Configuration elements. First small attempts to define Operation & Maintenance information gathering for Software Radio have been made. The alternatives of Polling and Callback, where the latter corresponds to Interrupts or to the unsolicited Event delivery, have been taken into account.
MTA has achieved significant results in the field of resource management. It identified the various aspects that should be taken into account during mobile base station and mobile terminal reconfiguration. Based on these aspects MTA has applied different resource management algorithms that can be used to fulfil the aspects. In different scenarios different resource management strategies are needed. For example in case of emergency situations it is important for a mobile base station to have increased fault tolerance meanwhile in an every-day scenario, low power consumption and efficient utilization is required. MTA has developed an abstract hardware description model, and a modular application architecture for hardware configuration management. With the help of this model and architecture the Resource Controller is capable of adjusting the configuration of the mobile base station to the changing demands dynamically.
In this project we developed a flexible, organic and adaptable business intelligence architecture named Complex Organic Distributed Architecture (CODA) and successfully demonstrated its application for intelligent reconfiguration of wireless mobile networks. CODA represents a new generation of decision-making system that includes a means of monitoring and controlling objectives to allow the enterprise to evolve dynamically with a certain degree of autonomy. It applies a theoretical foundation for modelling evolutionary enterprises provided by (organic) principles, defined by the Viable System Model. CODA's intelligent structures are based on business intelligence concepts. CODA separates the intelligent information system into five functionally distinct layers; each supported by a data warehouse component and an intelligent component. Each data warehouse component is separated by filter components, which restructure data into formats suitable for the information processing functions to be performed. This approach is based on the way that organic systems manage complex and adaptive behaviour. The advantages of CODA are that it is intuitively easy to manage, and supports complex evolution by using data intelligently. At the same time, CODA minimises information flow between the system components and provides sufficient component autonomy. There is no doubt that the self-learning approach developed during this research has far reaching applications, and will benefit the intelligent management of future wireless communication systems.
PMDL has been working on design and implementation of SDR base band and re-configuration signalling. The main achievements of that work are: - Multi-mode base band processing, where GSM 1800 and W-CDMA modes were considered. - Modular design of base band processing, where each base band function is considered as a Function Object running on a particular flexible fabrics. - Implementation of Function Objects on different type of flexible devices where each device is considered as Device Object. The type of devices utilised are devices based on Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) such as CPU, general purpose DSPs and specific purpose DSPs, and re-configurable hardware such as FPGAs. The main PMDL achievement was a modular design of channel coding processing for transmitter and receiver and its implementation on Transtech DSP board TS-36N, which is based on the state-of-the-art Analog Devices TigerSHARC processor. APIs provided by Transtech are used for connection between the board and PC. PC was utilised as a host and also for providing data path connection points between the different base band functions that reside on different hardware.