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SDRFramework

Size shrink of radio modem

Brief

Our client had a novel radio modem for wide-area communications applications and this was used in their existing products. Our client’s technology had some unique benefits when compared to alternative technologies, but because their products were at that time much lower volume, they had not achieved the same level of miniaturisation and this was proving to be a barrier to adoption. Our client wanted assistance to produce a new modem that was equivalent from a functional and performance stand-point, but that was less than half the size of the first, had reduced cost and offered the flexibility to increase its capability in the future.

Cambridge Consultants was engaged to use its wireless implementation expertise to rapidly re-engineer the modem to meet these requirements.

Approach

Using SDRFramework™, our software defined radio design methodology, we created an equivalence model to allow us to understand the complete behaviour of their existing radio and the required functionality of future products.

From there we were able to analyse the split of analog and digital signal processing in the current design and then identify an alternative architectural split that reduced the component count, moved significantly more functionality into the digital domain and reduced the size of both the RF and baseband sub-systems.

We then wrote all new DSP code for the modulation demodulation chains for the new architecture, and designed the new radio sub-systems, effectively providing an all new implementation, but with directly equivalent performance, now in a smaller and lower cost design.

SDRFramework™ provides a link between the mathematical specification of the design and the unit, block and system verification, smoothing the path to a working deliverable and ensuring that the integration of the size reduced-radio into the remainder of the product went smoothly.

Benefit

Our client was able to produce new products that were size and cost competitive with alternative (and much higher volume) wireless technologies, and so were then better able to showcase the benefits that their novel technology offered.