NEWS: Software Defined Radio (SDR)

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

'Tower of Babel' technology nears

The problem of compatibility between wireless devices is being addressed at an international conference this week.

Scientists will be discussing what has been dubbed "Tower of Babel" technology - software that can converge different wireless gadgets into a single device.

The aim for Software Defined Radio (SDR) is to be able to translate and understand any kind of radio wave signal, such as 3G or wi-fi.

Researchers say SDR gadgets could become commonplace in five to 10 years.

Reply to
John Navas
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Old news...posted months ago carries were looking at a SDR deployment within two years.

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I think the software defined antena is going to be the tricky bit :-) unless theres some breakthough in nanotech we dont know about.

Reply to
developers hath wroth:

You must be an optimist. SDR is likely to generate a huge number of proprietary (also known as optimized) protocols designed specifically to lock a user into a specific wireless vendor. If changing the protocol, encryption, profile, and features takes nothing more than a firmware download, you can be sure all the cellular providers are going to do it. Surely you didn't think they were interested in providing a universal cell phone? SDR is a good idea, but not for what you're expecting.

Also, the antenna seems to be somewhat of a challenge. The current cell phone antennas might need to over 800MHz and 1900MHz. However, add universal roaming, Wi-Fi, BlueGoof, WiMax, GPS, WirelessUSB, and whatever the FCC will release next, and it needs to also work at

900MHz, 1800MHz, 2400Mhz, 2500Mhz, 1250Mhz, 5.7GHz. Ambitious marketing folks will probably also want AM/FM/TV/FRS/GMRS and cordless phone features. Maybe an iPod built in. Lots of antenna design fun.

There are also proximity and sharing issues. My XV6700 PDA phone has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I can see why Verizon disabled using Bluetooth for listening to music. If I try to stream music from the internet via Wi-Fi and listen to it via Bluetooth (after hacking the registry), the music sounds like gargling ball bearings.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

On Wed, 08 Nov 2006 11:29:41 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote in :

Crappy implementation. My notebook computer has no problem doing that. And Wi-Fi shouldn't be an issue when playing stored music.

"Oops! Another feature doesn't work!"

"We don't have time to fix that too!"

"Should I just cripple it also?"

"Yep -- documentation is so bad our dummies, er customers, won't know how to use it anyway!"

Reply to
John Navas

Worse. I forgot to mention that the XV6700 has Bluetooth 1.2 which should have AFH (adaptive frequency hopping) which should prevent the problem. However, I'm not sure if it's RF self-interference or the CPU running out of horsepower that's causing the problem. It could also be my Plantronics BT-3000 headset. Oops, the BT-3000 is only Bluetooth 1.1. I'll try it with a BT 1.2 or 2.0 headset.

Your notebook also doesn't try to share the same antenna with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I think (not sure) the XV6700 does. Checking: |

Sigh. The internal photos PDF appears to be fatally damaged. However, there are some internal photos mixed in with the external photos. Looks like 3 separate antennas for CDMA, BT, and WiFi. |

See page 6 of 9.

However, it appears that they changed to a different antenna in a later version: |

I can't see the WiFi antenna so I'll guess(tm) that it's a common BT and WiFi antenna.

Features and functions get added faster than bugs get fixed. The inevitable result is a bloated buggy mess.

Customer tested quality?

Of course. Call it an undocumented feature or "wireless streaming media ready".

I think you saw the web page I scribbled just for setting up the XV6700. It was a messy ordeal, even with the documentation. The supplied documentation was tolerable, but for the previous firmware version. I had to update from bits and pieces from all over the internet. I don't think a non-geek could do it successfully.

If it were too easy, it would be no fun. If the product were any good, it wouldn't need documentation.

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