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[Discuss-gnuradio] developing driver to use new hardware in GNU Radio

From: Card, Stu
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] developing driver to use new hardware in GNU Radio
Date: Sun, 8 May 2016 16:33:41 -0400

(cross-posted to the 3 different sub-communities with relevant driver architectures)

I would very much like to use GNU Radio as a real time signal analysis environment with some Altera FPGA based hardware (not a general purpose SDR, more a test probe in a comm system).

Searching for information on porting GNU Radio to new hardware, I found

That contains some good pointers, but was 4 years ago, so I wonder if there are any other places I should be looking for information on how to write a driver for my hardware, so I can drop a corresponding source block into GRC and get started with my signal processing?

My signal analysis will typically start with a scrolling spectrogram, such as is provided by fosphor (original GPU based gr-fosphor or later FPGA based rfnoc-fosphor). We can do the high rate (FFT, magnitude, log) in the FPGA: this would incline me to start with the rfnoc-fosphor software stack; but my hardware is not Ettus, it does not have a UHD interface, it is not Xilinx. So that pushes me towards writing a driver to go underneath gr-osmosdr: then I think I also would need to extend gr-osmosdr itself to make calls to that library, unless there is some sort of device driver abstraction with a dispatcher to different actual drivers? Searching for a framework that cleanly isolates the hardware specific device driver code from the higher layers, I foundĀ  SoapySDR: reviewing the description on the web, it looks very nice, and under active development; but as someone new to much of this, I am not yet competent to assist with that development, and am not clear on how complete and usable (by a n00b such as myself) SoapySDR is yet?

Thanks for any tips!
-- Stu Card <address@hidden>

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