SDR Radio Front-End

'Software-Defined Radio' (SDR) is a new approach for mobile communication architectures. The general idea is to replace special analog hardware components by FPGAs, DSPs and 'general purpose processors' (GPPs), and therefore allow fast-prototyping on a flexible platform. SDR is the enabling technology for Green IT, supporting multiple radio standards in a flexible and energy efficient manner. SDR based systems are reconfigurable and reduce developing time and costs in comparison with special purpose processors.

SDR Radio Front-End with two or four transceivers
SDR Radio Front-End with two, four or eight transceivers

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The Software Defined Radio (Wikipedia) Frontend is a flexible radio platform consisting of a stacked digital card and an analog radio front-end. This reconfigurable remote radio head supports 2, 4 or 8 transceivers and operates with variable signal bandwidths, carrier frequencies and transmit powers. The compact hardware is uTCA compliant and supports optical (e.g. CPRI) as well as Ethernet high-speed interfaces to baseband real-time processing platforms

SDR is a platform able to support different communication standards with variable signal bandwidths, carrier frequencies and transmit power. It has capabilities for Multiband, MIMO and beamforming operation using  several radio units connected and synchronized via optical fiber.

The SDR consists of two stacked cards digital interface and radio frequency front-end. It communicates through optical baseband interface and it is equipped with two radio frequency transceivers. The printed circuit boards (PCB) built based on Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMC) form factor standards.

Technical Information


  • Supporting CPRI 4.1
  • Optical SFP baseband interface
  • 2-antenna duplex operation
  • Wide carrier frequency range
  • Different reference clock sources
  • FDD and TDD operation
  • Variable bandpass RF filter


  • Baseband CPRI data rate of  2457.6 Mbit/s
  • Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA
  • Configurability via RS232 and terminal program or with vendor data from CPRI
  • 2-antenna duplex operation with variable RF signal bandwith ranging from 3 MHz to 50 MHz
  • 400 MHz – 4000 MHz carrier frequency range
  • Maximal output power (RMS, CW) of 31 dBm at 2.65 GHz
  • Duplex components (filters, diplexers and/or TDD switches) on extra plug-on modules

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Tags: Software Defined Radio, SDR, SDR Radio Frontend, Radio Front-End, MIMO, Multiband, beamforming operation