A Framework for Re-targeting Radio Designs
Project Award Date: 08-10-2007
Software defined radios (SDRs) offer the capability of quickly changing the capabilities of a radio by re-programming the hardware platform. The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) is the acme of sophisticated SDRs. However, the approach taken in the JTRS program is to define a Software Communications Architecture (SCA) that primarily specifies the interfaces between system components rather than the components themselves. And while this approach promises re-usable software components, it does not address the challenge of re-using designs of radio hardware components.
ITTC researchers will develop a framework for re-targeting radio designs to facilitate the design, re-use, and re-targeting of radio designs. Radio design encompasses the specification and implementation of the system(s) that actually process bits and signals that implement the physical radio. The framework includes the set of tools to specify, optimize, and instantiate a radio design in a number of technologies (e.g. general purpose processors, digital signal processors, field programmable gate arrays, or application specific integrated circuits). Re-targeting will allow the re-use of radio designs on multiple implementations.
The Radio Design Framework (RDF) project is threefold. First, ITTC researchers will develop a framework with a user-oriented, graphical interface to specify radio components. Next they will include an intermediate specification language that is suitable for automated processing within the framework as well. The graphic descriptions are translated into this specification language. This aspect supports well-defined specification transforms and validation checks based on user criteria and technology capabilities and constraints. Third, the framework supports conversion of the intermediate specification into commercially available languages (e.g. VHDL or Verilog) and tools (e.g. vendor specific descriptions). Commercial tools can be used to carry out the final design implementation.
A major focus of current DARPA programs is on reducing the manufacturing cost of radios. This proposal supports that focus by addressing the challenge of reducing the non-recurring engineering costs of designing radios. This initial study focuses on designing the architecture for a RDF and demonstrating the feasibility of the architecture.
Primary Sponsor(s): Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency