Software Based Radio

Stephen M. Blust

Cingular Wireless

This chapter offers an introduction to software based radio (SBR), discusses some top-level global drivers for (SBR) designs, and postulates potential evolutionary implications for software radio in one key market space (commercial wireless). It provides a vision for the potential impact of software radio, supplying a context for the more detailed technology presented in subsequent chapters of this book.

SBR, also known as software defined radio (SDR) or just software radio (SR), is a technological innovation that is coming of age for wireless communications of many types. There is no one single agreed definition of SBR/SDR/SR terminology, in part because there are several different perspectives for the technology. In a broad sense, as will be described and illustrated later, the technology involves more than just ‘radio’ in the classic sense of the word ‘radio’. It also involves more than just ‘software’ in the usual usage of that word.

In this chapter, suggested definitions are presented along with examples of the use of the terminology. Throughout this chapter, the term ‘software based radio’, as defined, is used as an overarching term that comprises SDR, SR, and adaptive-intelligent SR (AI-SR).

1.1 A Multidimensional Model Sets the Stage

The multidimensional aspects and different perspectives of SBR are illustrated in Figure 1.1. Starting at the bottom of the figure, the radio implementers’ plane is what many people ...

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