03 settembre 2008

SD/cognitive: la radio delle libertà

Il comunicato Business Wire che segue fa il punto sull'SDR Forum e traccia una scheda delle ultime aziende e organizzazioni che sono entrate a far parte di questo consorzio per la radio definita dal software (come vedete c'è un grande interesse nelle applicazioni militari ma non solo per quello).
Lunedì 8 settembre a Boston si terrà uno dei periodici working meeting del Forum e il programma è fitto di tematiche e speakers interessanti. Mi ha proprio incuriosito l'intervento di apertura, affidato a WIlliam Lehr, un economista che studia le applicazioni dell'intelligenza artificiale e del software. Il prof. Lehr spiegherà ai membri dell'SDR Forum come sviluppare un ecosistema per una cognitive radio commerciale. Come sapete questo è uno degli argomenti più di frontiera insieme alla radio in cui il trasporto (modulazione) e l'estrazione (demodulazione) delle informazioni sono gestite quasi completamente via software. Nella radio cognitiva, oltre all'aspetto della modulazione, la radio utilizza una propria intelligenza (artificiale) per accedere allo spettro delle radiofrequenze. Se l'SDR "libera" la radio da un legame troppo ingegneristico con i vari sistemi di modulazione, analogici o numerici che siano, il cognitive radio determina una analoga frattura: sia nel pesante meccanismo che oggi viene faticosamente applicato per regolare l'assegnamento delle frequenze da impegnare quando si trasmette o si riceve, sia per quanto concerne il risvolto industriale del rispetto di queste regole. Pensate che differenza fondamentale: una radio convenzionale dev'essere progettata in funzione del sistema modulante prescelto e delle frequenze utilizzate. Una radio software defined e cognitiva, invece, può fare (per certi versi) quello che le pare, adattandosi con un semplice interruttore software a sistemi e finestre di frequenze molto diversi tra loro, senza provocare conflitti.
Dalla pagina personale del prof. Lehr ho trovato il link a un suo articolo apparso su IEEE Communications lo scorso anno, intitolato "The Path to Market Success for
Dynamic Spectrum Access Technology".

SDR Forum Experiences Rapid Growth with the Addition of Eight New Members
Sept. 2, 2008

PHOENIX, Sep 02, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Eight organizations working within the advanced wireless market have recently joined the SDR Forum ( www.sdrforum.org), bringing the total number of new members joining the Forum since its Technical Conference in November to 25. This growth represents a 20 percent increase in the Forum's member organizations comprising world class business, government and technical leaders from around the world.
Feedback from these new SDR Forum members indicates that this rapid expansion can be attributed to the growing acceptance of SDR and related technologies in mainstream wireless markets, and the value that the SDR Forum brings to its members when operating within this dynamic environment.
"As a research center advancing SDR technology, we feel that the SDR Forum is the place to be," says Liesbet Van der Perre, science director Nomadic Embedded Systems at IMEC. "Now that SDR technology is entering the consumer markets, the SDR Forum has grown into a worldwide community of interested parties. For us, it is a valuable community where we can exchange ideas with users, operators and electronics companies alike. Moreover, the momentum and enthusiasm in the SDR Forum will give us valuable input to the next generation of Cognitive Radios that we are investigating."
With a main goal of "Promoting the Success of Next Generation Radio Technologies," the SDR Forum provides its members with a singular venue to expand the market, evaluate trends and technologies, educate and influence decision makers at all levels of the wireless value chain, and drive changes that will reduce costs and time to market/time to deployment for software defined and cognitive radio technologies. This is done through strategic partnerships with other organizations, collaboration within the Forum's work groups and special interest groups, and networking at the Forum's four regional meetings held throughout the year and the annual Technical Conference and Product Exposition, recognized as the premier event in the reconfigurable radio community.
"Membership in SDR Forum reinforces our corporate and engineering commitment to the advancement of digital radio technologies," said Jeff Westra,VP of Engineering for Xenotran. "Xenotran's core expertise includes digital signal processing, waveform development, and software defined radio implementations. Being part of the SDR Forum enables Xenotran to actively participate in this exciting community."
New member organizations since February 2008 include:

DRS Signal Solutions -- ( http://www.drs-ss.com/) DRS Signal Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S.A., is a world leader in providing commercial-off-the-shelf products and custom based SIGINT solutions. Our wide range of Software Definable Radio products provide frequency coverage from HF to millimeter wave and meet defense department objectives for Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) architectures. These solutions leverage over 45 years of experience in the design, development, and manufacturing of a broad range of high performance radio frequency surveillance equipment. Our applications are deployed worldwide by virtually all United States military, as well as several allied international governments and defense prime contractors.

ENSTA -- ( http://www.ensta.fr/) Originally founded in 1741, ENSTA is today one of the top French institutes of higher education in engineering. Its students are selected from among the brightest science students of each generation. Situated in Paris, ENSTA offers a comprehensive scientific education, training in a broad range of technological areas, as well as in the management skills necessary to the engineer. Its five laboratories, which enjoy excellent facilities, perform top-level fundamental and applied research.

Fraunhofer IIS -- ( http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/EN/index.jsp) Founded in 1985, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany, today with 520 staff members, ranks first among the Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. As the inventor of mp3 and co-inventor of the MPEG AAC audio coding standard, Fraunhofer IIS has reached worldwide recognition. It provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing. The research topics are: Audio and video source coding, multimedia realtime systems, digital radio broadcasting and digital cinema systems, integrated circuits and sensor systems, design automation, wireless, wired and optical networks, localization and navigation, imaging systems and nanofocus X-ray technology, high-speed cameras, medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport and logistics. The budget of 61 million Euro is mainly financed by projects from industry, the service sector and public authorities. Less than 20 percent of the budget is subsidized by federal and state funds.

IMEC -- A world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, IMEC's ( http://www.imec.be/) research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC develops generic technologies for the mobile terminal of the future which will be offering ubiquitous access to the Internet, to specific services, content and applications. Researchtargets enabling technologies for low-power and low-cost software-defined radios (SDR) and cognitive radios, including flexible front-ends, digital platforms and complementary algorithmic solutions.
UC San Diego -- ( http://www.ucsd.edu/portal/site/ucsd) The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is a partnership of UC San Diego and UC Irvine. With a focus on discovery and innovation at the intersection of science, engineering and the arts, Calit2 constitutes one of the largest multidisciplinary research centers in the nation. One of the research areas at UCSD Calit2 is software-defined radio, which includes both educational and sponsored-research components.
Reservoir Labs -- ( http://www.reservoir.com/) Reservoir Labs provides leading-edge consulting and contract R&D to the computer industry, government, and business end-users. We employ state-of-the-art compiler and verification technologies, and also bring proprietary tools developed on a wide variety of architectures over the past 16 years. We seamlessly work with your teams to deliver substantial improvements in performance, reliability, productivity and time to market.

Xenotran -- Xenotran ( http://www.xenotran.com/) specializes in the analysis, design and implementation of digital communication components used in wireless communication systems - including satellite and terrestrial systems. Their engineering teams are experienced in applying state-of-the-art digital signal processing techniques to solve communication system design requirements. Xenotran has demonstrated software development and engineering leadership on the latest Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Satellite Communications (SATCOM) programs and Xenotran's Integrated Waveforms (IW) are compliant with the newest military standards (MIL STD) - MIL-STD-188-181C, -182B, -183B, -186. Xenotran is currently developing the industry reference for the Common Interactive Broadcast (CIB) and Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT) waveform, and Xenotran's SCA compliant Software Defined Radio technology will drive the efforts to alleviate critical bandwidth shortages for new and existing DoD deployed radios.

VIPMobile, Inc. -- VIPMobile, Inc. ( http://vipmobile.com/), offices in San Francisco, CA and San Diego, CA, provides research & development, software engineering and systems integration services to government and commercial customers with a focus on innovative tactical Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) technology solutions to benefit the defense, homeland security, and intelligence communities. In connection with recently awarded government contracts, VIPMobile, Inc. is developing: (i) an extensible and affordable Software Defined Radio with cross-band cross-protocol capability, which is capable of bridging wireless communications networks operating at different radio frequency bands, physical layers, data/voice protocols, vocoders, and encryption methods and (ii) a multi-channel gateway that can be integrated into expendable devices (e.g. sonobuoys, submarine-launched sensors and communications buoys, deployed sensors) and handheld radios.

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