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[Discuss-gnuradio] USRP2 with a Switch

From: ValentinG
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] USRP2 with a Switch
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 09:53:10 -0700 (PDT)

Dear all,
We have 12 USRP2 boards which we would like to synchronise and run in a
phase array system as an expansion of the 4 element system we currently have
running using the VRT branch of GNURadio.

Currently we use a 4 port PCIe Gb Ethernet Card to connect the USRP2 boards
to the host computer. Our Communications group suggested that we could use
an Ethernet switch to support 12 boards instead of trying to find a computer
we can stuff that many Ethernet cards in to.

Data from all 4 boards should get streamed into a data buffer on the switch
and then be accessed sequentially by the host computer at a rate to avoid
the over-run of the buffers. Switches work on the ethernet layer and hence
the protocol should be compatible.

We have read about some problems on the forums regarding using a switch for
the USRP2's. Does anybody know if it is a realistic task to be able to use a
switch to stream data in from multiple boards in this manner and how one
might start in creating a system which can do this? Does a new protocol for
sending packets to the computer need to be created. If so then where is the
current protocol specified?

Best regards,
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