The NTRG is pursuing a line of research that goes beyond 3rd Generation mobile telephony standards into what we call 4th Generation mobile systems. This is a research effort that aims to define a replacement for the global fixed and mobile telephone networks with a core network based on IP technology and supporting many different kinds of wireless access networks. A node operating in these future networks must therefore be capable of adapting to the characteristics of the underlying network. We believe that software radio is an enabling technology in providing the adaptability needed to deal with the variety of wireless networks and that it has a significant role to play in 4th Generation Wireless Nodes.
General Purpose Processors
Traditionally, radio systems have been built using dedicated analogue hardware. More recently there has been a move towards digitising RF signals as close as possible to the antennae, thus replacing analogue components with DSPs. This method can simplify the design of a radio system and improve its overall performance. Our approach has been to use General Purpose Processors (GPPs) instead of dedicated DSP hardware. This technique has many advantages over DSPs: