Title page for ETD etd-06072010-203946

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Irick, Charles Robert
Author's Email Address chuck527@vt.edu
URN etd-06072010-203946
Title Enhancing GNU Radio for Hardware Accelerated Radio Design
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Athanas, Peter M. Committee Chair
Schaumont, Patrick Robert Committee Member
Tront, Joseph G. Committee Member
  • Virtex-5
  • FPGA
  • GNU Radio
  • SDR
Date of Defense 2010-06-04
Availability unrestricted
As technology evolves and new methods for designing radios arise, it becomes necessary

to continue the search for fast and flexible development environments. Some of these

new technologies include software defined radio (SDR), Field Programmable Gate Arrays

(FPGAs), and the open source project GNU Radio. Software defined radio is a concept

that GNU Radio has harnessed to allow developers to quickly create flexible radio designs.

In terms of hardware, the maturity of FPGAs give radio designers new opportunities to

develop high-speed radios having high-throughput and low-latency, yet the conventional

build-time for FPGAs is a limiting factor for productivity. Recent research has lead to

reductions in build-time by using FPGAs in a non-traditional manner, meaning produc-

tivity no longer has to be sacrificed. The AgileHW project demonstrated this concept and

will be used as a basis to develop an overlaying architecture that uses a combination of

the technologies mentioned to create a flexible, open, and efficient environment for radio

development. This thesis discusses the realization of this architecture with the use of

Xilinx FPGAs as a hardware accelerator for an enhanced GNU Radio.

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