PrismTech and Gumstix debut miniature, COTS-based SDR platform

Engineers at PrismTech of Burlington, Mass., and Gumstix Inc. in Portola Valley, Calif., have unveiled the first commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software-communications-architecture (SCA) software-defined-radio (SDR) solution on a miniature computer, bringing size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) benefits to SDR developers.

Jul 1st, 2007
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By Courtney E. Howard

BURLINGTON, Mass. - Engineers at PrismTech of Burlington, Mass., and Gumstix Inc. in Portola Valley, Calif., have unveiled the first commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software-communications-architecture (SCA) software-defined-radio (SDR) solution on a miniature computer, bringing size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) benefits to SDR developers.

PrismTech’s Spectra SCA-compliant, COTS-based software is installed on Gumstix open-source Linux miniature computers. The Spectra software combines an SCA 2.2.2-compliant core, CORBA middleware that meets SCA requirements, CORBA Object Services, and an XML parser.

The Spectra software, one-megabyte in size, runs on several radio platforms and operating systems, such as Integrity from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif.; LynxOS from LynuxWorks in San Jose, Calif.; Linux from MonetaVista Software in Santa Clara, Calif.; Linux from Red Hat in Raleigh, N.C.; VLX from VirtualLogix in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France; and VxWorks from Wind River Systems in Alameda, Calif.


Gumstix offers military and aerospace systems integrators small-form-factor computers and motherboards that are the size of a stick of chewing gum.
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Measuring 80 by 20 by 6.3 millimeters-roughly the size of a stick of chewing gum-Gumstix are for network-management servers, unmanned autonomous vehicles, sensor monitors, security appliances, RFID-device readers, and handheld devices.

The PrismTech/Gumstix partnership contributes to the commoditization of lightweight COTS SDR operating systems and development tools, says Dominick Paniscotti, vice president and general manager of SDR products at PrismTech.

The Spectra software on Gumstix’s small-form-factor computer, he explains, meets demanding resource-constrained computing environments without sacrificing SCA compliance.

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