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July 26, 1999
Vanu Bose On His Dream Projects
Vanu, Inc offers software radio consulting services covering both software radio technology and market assessment.
"We have performed evaluations of specific technologies for software radio applications, analyzed potential software radio markets and provided design assistance and evaluation for software radio systems," says Vanu Bose, one of its founders.
Vanu, Inc is currently part of the Boeing JTRS Consortium, which is developing a software radio architecture for military radios which will allow each radio to be reconfigured to meet specific mission requirements, inter-operate with legacy systems and incorporate future technology advances, he says.
"We have also been retained by a major consumer electronics manufacturer to investigate the impact of software radio technology for future home entertainment systems," he says. But he does not want to discuss the details right now.
"Our core technology involves the design and development of a wideband software radio that utilizes a general purpose processor," Bose says. "Three of the four founding members of the company are from the MIT SpectrumWare research team, and provide expertise in the areas of software radio architectures, signal processing and the design of hardware and operating system support for real-time wideband software radios."
What is special about his radio?
"Our software radio architecture provides more flexibility than any other radio architecture," he explains. "The architecture moves the analog/digital boundary as close as possible to the antenna and the hardware/software boundary to the same place as the analog/digital boundary. Dedicated hardware processing is only used to down convert a wideband, 10-20 MHz located anywhere between 100 kHz and 2.6 GHz, to an IF frequency where it is then directly digitized. A custom DMA engine and operating system extensions are used to stream the samples directly into memory where they can be accessed by application level software.
"Our real-time software environment is unlike other embedded systems in that it utilizes high level object-oriented languages, runs on top of the Linux operating system, and is portable to a number of different processing platforms," he says. "The environment enables rapid implementation through the use of high level debugging and design tools, and results in a small source code base. For example, the signal processing code for an AMPS cellular receiver requires only 600 lines of source code.
"Our approach allows for dynamic modification of all aspects of a radio system, which has two primary benefits," he says. "First, instead of building different hardware for different systems, our approach allows a single general purpose platform to perform these different functions by simply running a different program. For example, our generic receiver can inter-operate with multiple different cellular systems by running different programs.
"Second, instead of building hardware with static functionality designed to meet worst case conditions, our approach allows for the dynamic modification of any aspect of the processing to best meet the current conditions. This allows systems to operate more efficiently, making better use of resources."
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