Rauchwerk, Michael D. Bell Labs Advanced Technologies, Holmdel, New Jersey.
- Radio overview
- Radio basics
- Additional Readings
Software-defined radio (SDR) provides the capability to implement a variety of radios on a single device. In theory, software-defined radios have an operating frequency, bandwidth, and modulation type that are programmed via software or programmable hardware. Limitations of current hardware generally limit the operating frequency range. Software-defined radio has become practical through the development of very powerful, inexpensive, programmable digital processing hardware such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and digital signal processors (DSPs), as well as high-speed analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters. Although not strictly software, field-programmable gate arrays are commonly considered part of SDR architectures since software is typically not fast enough to implement radios without some hardware assistance. Radios differ widely in capability, and the ability of a software-defined radio to implement a particular type of radio is limited by the capabilities of its electronic circuitry.
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