What is LinRADiO?
LinRADiO is an initiative of Radixon Group, to provide information about software-defined radio on Linux platform,
especially as related to Radixon products.
These products include our stand-alone Linux-based network receivers, as well as Linux drivers suited to our general-purpose receivers that are available for other platforms,
making it possible for third-party programmers to develop their own Linux-based software applications based on our proven hardware.
What is SDR?
SDR (Software Defined Radio) is radio communications technology where certain critical parts of its fundamental functionality are performed in software. In other words, classical functional blocks such as filters, mixers, demodulators, etc., are replaced
by software, using digital processing techniques performed on the digitized signal.
Software Defined Radio (SDR) represents an exciting step in the development of radio communication technologies. Radixon Group has pioneered this field with our award-winning range of WiNRADiO products,
which included some of the first commercially successful offspring of a "marriage" between radio and computer.
Software-Defined Radio receivers exhibit particular features and characteristics that have not been otherwise achievable with conventional technologies:
1. Design Flexibility
As the SDR technology progresses, the software is moving "closer to the antenna". This means that more and more of the conventional hardware circuitry is being replaced by software, for example filtering, demodulation and decoding functions. A SDR receiver's functionality can be changed by a software upgrade only.
A completely different application class of products can be often implemented using a common hardware platform, with the functionality defined by the software alone.
As hardware parts are replaced with software code (for example, a diode and a capacitor in an AM demodulator would be replaced by a mathematical routine performed on the digitized signal), and software by itself cannot break down,
SDR products are generally more reliable than conventional ones.
3. Consistency and Stability of Parameters
Parameters of hardware components are subject to temperature changes, manufacturing variations and aging, often resulting in performance differences between what should be identical products. However, software always performs the same. This is why SDR products exhibit a far better consistency
between units and reduced effects of aging.
Hardware products are hard and expensive to improve and upgrade, and this typically involves changing modules, boards, etc., often requiring for the product to be sent back to the factory. In contrast, SDR products are "future proof" and can be improved by a simple
software upgrade only, with minimum equipment downtime. New features and functions can be added easily, extending the lifetime of the product and increasing the user's return on the original investment.
Once the signal-processing or user-interface software has been developed and tested, it can be often re-used on other hardware platforms, and create new receivers or entire product families. This reduces the development time and cost, and in turn reduces the cost to the customer.
The entire SDR product can be reconfigured, i.e. its functionality and interface completely altered to suit changing user requirements, by a software change alone.
With conventional technology, certain features or facilities would be normally very expensive or even unthinkable, for example complex signal decoders or demodulators, extensive graphical-user interfaces with spectrum analyzers, etc.
SDR technology makes it possible to implement such facilities easily and at low cost, on a general-purpose computer platform. Demodulation/decoding of certain new types of complex modulation modes is practically only feasible on SDR platforms (DRM, APCO, DMR, etc.).
8. Lower Cost
Due to a reduced number of hardware parts, an SDR product is easier and more economical to manufacture and maintain, hence it is typically considerably more affordable than a comparable conventional product. Furthermore, as a greater portion of
expensive RF hardware is replaced by computer hardware whose costs continue to decline, the net effect is a rapidly declining cost of the SDR technology, while its performance keeps improving.