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RE: [Discuss-gnuradio] The ultimate SDR (Ethernet v. gigabit)

From: Steve Schear
Subject: RE: [Discuss-gnuradio] The ultimate SDR (Ethernet v. gigabit)
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 20:14:59 -0700

At 11:31 AM 10/23/2001 -0700, you wrote:
> Re Ethernet interfaces:  I suggest that the first version be built
> with 100mbit FDX Ethernet, and that the follow-on design upgrade
> to gigabit FDX Ethernet.  This will be a pretty straightforward
> drop-in replacement at 10x the data rate, with the same software
> interface, same packet formats, etc.

I don't think computers of the next couple of years would be able to consume
and process more than about 100 mbits/sec of data, so 100mbit is fine, I
think.  Besides, I'd like the ethernet part to be the easy part of the

> You could do the design for gigabit today.  PCI cards for it are down
> to hundreds of dollars.  They can't do the full thruput because it's
> faster than the PCI bus can handle, but they're much faster than
> 100mbit.  I suspect that the catch is that you'll be able to find lots
> of cheap and available IP cores and/or chips for 100mbit, but few for
> gigabit today.

Well, I can't find any free 100mbit cores except from opencores, and I'm not
sure of the state of that one.  Cheap isn't good enough for free hardware...

> PS: I also think you should only put in the work to design hardware
> for SDR's if you think it's fun.  Trying to sell niche computer
> hardware is a great way to do lots of work and lose money.  Trying to
> design mass market computer hardware is a great way to do lots of work
> and lose even more money, unless you know how to market and sell mass
> market computer hardware.

I wasn't thinking of marketing it.  I'd just like to design it, and if more
people like it, some organization could kit and sell it.

Although I've never put together a kit I have managed several projects, including wireless to market. I doubt there is very much money to be made on this sort of venture but it could be lots of fun and interesting professionally. I'd like to work with you and anyone else we can find to identify the design requirements and get this to going.


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