HIRATE - High Performance Digital Radio Testbed

  • Highly flexible modular testbed comprising digital baseband platform and plug-on RF modules
  • SISO and 2x2 MIMO capabilities
  • 250 MHz system bandwidth
  • Easy-to-use GUI-based control
  • Design flow for high level FPGA development based on Altera DSP Builder®
  • Hardware-in-the loop operation mode with Matlab® interface
  • Various RF plug-on modules available, customization by user or vendor
  • Compact 19" chassis


  • Two complete Tx and Rx chains
  • FDD and TDD operation
  • Adaptable frequency range
  • Synchronization and coherent operation capability of multiple HIRATE devices
  • Simultaneous real-time and hardware-in-the-loop operation
  • Development of digital signal processing algorithms by user or vendor (HIL and real-time)


  • Indoor/outdoor wireless transmission experiments
  • Waveform generation and analysis
  • Wideband RF impairment compensation - power amplifier linearization and IQ-imbalance compensation
  • Wideband MIMO channel sounding
  • University teaching

Digital Signal Processing and System Control

  • 4 x Altera® Stratix® III FPGAs
  • Embedded microcontrollers for application control and network protocol processing
  • 110K / 260K logic elements (standard / extended HIRATEconfiguration)

Signal Conversion

  • Two IQ Tx DACs with 16 bit, 250 MSps (internal: 500 MSps), SFDR: 82 dBc, DNL: 2.1 LSB, INL: 3.7 LSB
  • Two IQ Rx DACs with 8 bit, 500 Msps, SNR: 45 dB, SFDR: 54 dBc, ENOB: 7.2
  • On-board signal memory: 8 MS per channel at Tx, 16 MS/channel at Rx

External Interfaces

  • PCI Express host interface, up to 4 lanes, max. throughput approx.500 MBps, cable length up to 7 m
  • Gigabit Ethernet, RJ45 connector
  • 8 SMA connectors for analog/RF signals: transmit and receive signals, LO-reference
  • JTAG interface for embedded processor debugging
  • Logic analyze interface (optional)


  • Operational software available for Microsoft Windows® operating systems
  • Graphical user interface (GUI) for system control
  • Predefined MATLAB® functions and scripts for hardware-in-the-loop operation
  • Design flow for high level FPGA development based on Altera® DSP Builder®
  • Several IP cores available for real-time implementations

General Specifications

  • Power supply: 100 to 240 VAC, 50 Hz to 60 Hz
  • Power consumption: 30 W to 90 W (application-specific), standby < 1 W
  • Operating temperature range: 10°C to 50°C
  • 19" chassis: 3U height, 410 mm depth