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FPGA's are Software Defined (was Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] regarding fft-if
FPGA's are Software Defined (was Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] regarding fft-ifft processing)
Wed, 07 Mar 2007 09:42:18 -0500
Thunderbird 184.108.40.206 (Windows/20070221)
Can you reconfigure the FPGA by changing some software based description
in a development tool (Quartus) or do you need to break out a soldering
iron or SMT rework station?
The facts are: what is run in an FPGA is SOFTWARE DEFINED.
I despise this dichotomy to the n-th degree and aver it is wholly
artificial. If the goal (as it should be) is to MAXIMIZE the amount of
code running on the desktop or embedded controller with the code written
in C++ (with some hand coded assembler to help) then I will subscribe to
that. But to say we cannot rewrite programs for the FPGA because it is
a violation of principles is entirely too strong IMNSHO. I have
requested, on at least one occasion that I recall, a modification be
made to the USRP firmware allowing for different operation. I received
what I asked for (I have made poor use of it but that is for a different
forum). To me, this is the essence of software defined we should be
targeting. When Matt releases the USRP2 and more importantly, the
"ultimate engine" he is planning, this will progress even further.
As HPSDR accelerates into its releases, with FPGA's and CPLD's
everywhere and "untrained (very smart/extraordinary) mortals" doing ALL
of the programming and releasing their cores into the wild, this will
also help immensely.
HPSDR's Atlas Bus is < $30 (!!) in a very easy to build kit form.
HPSDR's main controller (Ozy) is the hub of activity on the Atlas backplane:
and has a very credible Cyclone II on it.
The wideband engine, Mercury:
is almost ready to release and its accompanying transmitter Penelope
will follow shortly. BOTH of these boards will have ANOTHER Cyclone II
on them with almost 100% of their territory being devoted to signal
processing. Interface will be done in Ozy. This is a pretty
inexpensive big jump in processing capability.
Look at the prices on these boards that are already available. This is
very interesting to say the least. I do believe we will see GnuRadio
support for these boards as HPSDR has borrowed heavily from GnuRadio on
the USB 2.0 interface side.
AMSAT Director and VP Engineering. Member: ARRL, AMSAT-DL,
TAPR, Packrats, NJQRP, QRP ARCI, QCWA, FRC. ARRL SDR WG Chair
"Taking fun as simply fun and earnestness in earnest shows
how thoroughly thou none of the two discernest." - Piet Hine