DENVER, 1 August 2007.Software-defined radio (SDR) is poised to play a major role in broadband wireless access, according to a new study commissioned by the SDR Forum (www.sdrforum.org), a nonprofit international industry association for reconfigurable wireless technology.
Prepared by technology consultant Jim Gunn, a specialist in digital wireless and multimedia communications, the 52-page study titled "Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and Beyond 3G/4G" and subtitled "Broadband Wireless Access (BWA)" provides a look at the market opportunities for the SDR community and the challenges it faces.
One such opportunity, the study says, is multiradio -- a hot industry trend in cellular and BWA -- whereby multiple radio standards (or waveforms) are included on a single mobile, portable or infrastructure platform. For example, a GSM cellular, a WiFi, and a GPS waveform could operate in parallel to provide wide-area, local-area and location services. As a result, SDR would need to address not only waveform selection -- its traditional focus -- but also simultaneous operations.
"Sharing of platform resources will be essential," the report says. "It is very reasonable to envision this trend to facilitate many synergistic opportunities for public safety, military, telematics, and other applications."
In addition, the study points to recent advances in semiconductor, radio frequency (RF), and data acquisition technologies that provide imminent market opportunities for SDR to extend programmability for more transceiver algorithms and more extensively achieve the long-verified software benefits:
· lower development costs;
· faster time-to-market;
· enhanced mass-customization flexibility in development, deployment and fielded products;
· better reuse of intellectual property;
· support for multiband and multimode RF operations; and
· waveform, protocol, and application selection and update.
The study concludes that virtually all stakeholders in the industry have indicated intentions for multiradio deployments that address Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and beyond 3G waveforms on common platforms and for using SDR-centric concepts and technologies to achieve the SDR platform benefits.