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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] USRP question for report on gnuradio history

From: John Gilmore
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] USRP question for report on gnuradio history
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2010 05:46:30 -0800

Eric Blossom adapted MIT student Vanu Bose's "pspectra" (parallelized
"spectra") software into the first GNU Radio software.  That software
used a PCI digitizer board, I believe from National Instruments, but
it was expensive and not very flexible.  We knew of much better
digitizer chips, but there was no convenient way to integrate them
into a PC-based system.  Matt Ettus as working on a Bluetooth chip or
macrocell at a commercial company at the time.  He noticed the GNU
Radio effort, and got interested in contributing.  He and Eric
designed the original USRP prototypes and modified the GNU Radio
software to be able to talk with it over the USB bus.  They also
designed the daughterboard system and defined the electrical and
physical connections to the daughterboards.  They released the design
under free licenses.  Matt ultimately left his job (after finishing
the Bluetooth design) and started Ettus Research to reliably produce
the USRP, enabling low cost and high performance radio work with GNU
Radio.  It was a lot of work (he was a 1-man operation and it grew
only slowly) and I'm glad he's been well rewarded over the long run
for doing it.


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