Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2008 Research Summary

FPGA-based Software Defined Radio

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Ahmad Bahai, Carl Chun and Bharathwaj Muthuswamy

Software-defined radio (SDR) has been used in applications such as base stations, radar systems, and RFIDs. However, in light of spectrum-sharing techniques, this technology is an attractive option for portable devices where energy limitation dictates design methodology.

The goal of this project is to develop an FPGA-based SDR platform for investigating various MAC and PHY improvements for 802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11p (vehicular networks), and 802.11n (MIMO) protocols. We are investigating new architectures for SDR to maximize flexibility of the platform without compromising power efficiency. Moreover, as opposed to ASICs, we can exploit the reconfigurability of the FPGA platform to: (1) study alternative algorithms such as new modulation formats (novel ways of using OFDM); (2) research multi-band down-conversion protocols; and (3) implement algorithms for characterizing the wireless channel.

Our first task is to develop the platform for Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) in 802.11p vehicular networks. The SDR will utilize flexible broadband radio frontends coupled with software implementations of PHY and MAC functions to explore research in improving safety-based vehicular communications.