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Electronics 2016, 5(2), 27; doi:10.3390/electronics5020027

An FPGA Scalable Software Defined Radio Platform Design for Educational and Research Purposes

1
GTM—Grup de Recerca en Tecnologies Mèdia, La Salle—Universitat Ramon Llull, C/Quatre Camins, 30, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
2
KAL, John Cotton Building, Sunnyside, Edinburgh EH7 5RA, United Kingdom
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mostafa Bassiouni
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 1 June 2016

Abstract

In a digital modem design, the integration of the Analog to Digital Converters (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converters (DAC) with the core processor is usually a major issue for the designer. In this paper an FPGA scalable Software Defined Radio platform based on a Spartan-6 as a control unit is presented, developed for both educational and research purposes, which can fit the different application requirements in terms of analog front-end performance, processing unit and cost. The resolution and sampling frequency of the analog front-end are its main adjustable parameters. The processing core requirements involve the FPGA and the communication ports. A multidisciplinary working group was required to design a high performance system for both analog front-end and digital processing core in terms of signal integrity and electromagnetic compatibility. The platform has 5 different peripheral ports ranging from 16 kbps to 2.5 Gbps. The communication ports allow our students to develop a high range of applications for both on-site and online courses applying teaching methodology based on learning by doing using a real system to help them to reach other transversal skills.
Keywords: Software Defined Radio (SDR); Field Programable Gate Array (FPGA); programable logic; signal integrity; Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC); educational platform Software Defined Radio (SDR); Field Programable Gate Array (FPGA); programable logic; signal integrity; Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC); educational platform
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hervás, M.; Alsina-Pagès, R.M.; Salvador, M. An FPGA Scalable Software Defined Radio Platform Design for Educational and Research Purposes. Electronics 2016, 5, 27.

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