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RE: [Discuss-gnuradio] Matlab interface to USRP

From: Long, Jeffrey P.
Subject: RE: [Discuss-gnuradio] Matlab interface to USRP
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 16:07:59 -0400

more two cents

I love Matlab and I use it every day but there is a time and a place
for it and it is not as an computational engine for a software defined
radio. Signal processing for an SDR is just not the right use for it.
It just can't keep up. If you were generating complied code in simulink
for some real time target OS via the real time workshop with the intent
of interfacing with the USRP I could see the application but just
streaming data into Matlab for processing is just using the USRP as a
cheap sampling scope frontend. I would hope the USRP is more than a
cheap front end to a digital scope. I know alot of people use it(USRP)
for this but the real work and beauty of this project is the signal
processing blockset and framework to allow the construction of a radio.
I think the effort should be put into moving the GNU radio code forward
not trying to support a sideline application.


-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden
[mailto:address@hidden On Behalf Of
Gregory Maxwell
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 2:42 PM
To: Jeff Brower
Cc: Matt Ettus; address@hidden
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Matlab interface to USRP

On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 2:24 PM, Jeff Brower <address@hidden>
>  I agree with Eric, well said.  My one exception is your reasoning
based on what
>  features MATLAB and/or GNU Radio have or don't have.  If you ask
colleagues "why do
>  you need to use MATLAB" they will say because it's what their
company has available,
>  what their colleagues use, it's a widely accepted technical
programming language for
>  publishing papers, etc.  If you ask students, they will say "because
my Prof said
>  so".  A lot of pragmatic reasons.

Thats fine for them. I endorse their use of matlab. Three cheers for
them. Fantastic.

>  As you said, a moral argument (or in my terms, an ideological
argument) isn't going
>  to accomplish much.  But if GNU Radio gracefully plays with MATLAB,
at least at the
>  data exchange and function-callable level, then you open the door
for the other
>  culture to walk in -- and discover just how far GNU Radio software
and hardware has
>  advanced.  That's a great way to attract new adherents and

It's also a great way to make GNU radio useless to anyone who can't
afford matlab. As I was told on IRC "every researcher has access to
matlab", so of course if GNU radio deeply integrates matlab then many
people will incorporate Matlab-only features into their projects since
the mindset is "every researcher has access to matlab" even though far
from everyone does...

Why bother?  There are hardware decks specifically built for matlab
which are less costly than USRP.  ... and a USRP driver for matlab
could probably be written with comparable effort to matlab support in

If someone simply wants some compatibility for their own matlab
language code, there is octave.. but it seems that idea is being
categorically rejected because what is wanted is just a shim to use
USRP from matlab.  Their needs could probably be best served by a USRP
driver for matlab.

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