Edward D. Willink
The benefits of software defined radios (SDR) are identified in many chapters of this book. SDR will potentially permit new protocols, applications, and air interface waveforms to be flexibly and even dynamically deployed across a variety of implementation platforms and products, sourced from multiple vendors. It will bring the benefits of open standards that have been enjoyed in the PC world to the arena of wireless communications. However, the basic hardware and software technologies, addressed elsewhere in this book, need to be supported by design tools and technologies that enable the simple, flexible, rapid, and cost-effective development, deployment, and reconfiguration of SDR implementations.
These issues are being addressed at many levels, with early efforts having focused particularly on hardware and applications. In this chapter, the issue of design techniques and tools to specify and implement an air interface waveform is addressed, so that the specification can be redeployed rapidly without incurring major costs or incompatibilities. The approach that has been identified to address this issue is the concept of the waveform description language (WDL). This chapter provides an introduction to this concept, describes its rationale and origins, describes proof of concept experience within the framework of the FM3TR1 program, and describes the status and detailed techniques associated with the emerging ...