Modular software defined radio platforms cover DC to 6 GHz

February 05, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
USRP X300 and USRP X310 are high-performance, modular software defined radio (SDR) platforms from Ettus Research, a National Instruments company.

Both platforms combine two RF transceivers covering DC through to 6 GHz with up to 120 MHz baseband bandwidth and a large user-programmable Kintex-7 FPGA. The USRP X300 and USRP X310 both feature multiple high-speed interface options, including PCI Express, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet and dual 1 Gigabit Ethernet and is available in in a convenient desktop or rack-mountable half-wide 1U form factor.

The USRP Hardware Driver™ (UHD) architecture, common to all USRP™ (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices, provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use interface. Developers can programmatically control the USRP with the UHD C++ API, or choose from a wide selection of third-party tools and software such as GNU Radio. The USRP X300 and USRP X310 use a flexible software ecosystem to deliver cost-effective, high-performance SDR solutions that help wireless system designers quickly create simple prototypes, develop complex systems and accelerate their wireless research.

Both the USRP X300 and USRP X310 leverage the Kintex-7 family of FPGAs from Xilinx. The USRP X300 uses the XC7K325T, and the USRP X310 is based on the larger XC7K410T. Kintex-7 FPGAs integrate up to 1,540 DSP48 slices operating in parallel so USRP users can deploy custom or third-party signal processing algorithms onto each device. Users can process data in real time using their own DSP algorithms such as filters, modulators/demodulators and coders/decoders. They can also access and control the wide range of peripherals available on each USRP, including the RF front ends.

Matt Ettus, Founder and President of Ettus Research claims. “Offering unprecedented levels of real-time signal processing power and RF bandwidth, the USRP X310 and USRP X300 can now address applications such as next generation 5G wireless standard prototyping, multichannel spectrum scanning and analysis and even active radar prototyping and development.”