2020-09-08 - New SDR Product Line for Wireless Network Deployment, Testing and Phased Arrays

Ranging from building block components to complete application-ready systems including application software, N.A.T. overcomes the limitations of DSPs to target next generation networks

The new N.A.T product portfolio ranges from an individual radio frequency (RF) card in the FMC form factor (NAT-FMC-SDR4)  to turnkey, field-deployable 19-inch rack-mounted systems (NAT-SDR-FLEX) with application software and sample projects. These SDR solutions can streamline the development and deployment of 4G, 5G, NBIoT, private network and phased antenna array applications, improving time-to-market while retaining flexibility.

Our new range of software defined radio (SDR) products will enable wireless network developers to speed and simplify their application development and deployment.

The new N.A.T product portfolio ranges from an individual radio frequency (RF) card in the FMC form factor (NAT-FMC-SDR4)  to turnkey, field-deployable 19-inch rack-mounted systems (NAT-SDR-FLEX) with application software and sample projects. These SDR solutions can streamline the development and deployment of applications, improving time-to-market while retaining flexibility. Applications include:

  • NAT-SDR-FLEX collageWide band receivers for scanning and direction-finding
  • Wide band transmitters, used for jamming
  • 4G and 5G network test equipment
  • Proof-of-concept setups including custom waveforms and beamforming,
  • Sensing techniques for cognitive radio
  • Remote radio heads (RRH) for phased antenna arrays

The optional 5G (3GPP rel.15) package enables private wireless network applications such as wideband LTE/5G base station and radio units as well as narrowband cellular IOT (cIOT). The N.A.T. turnkey systems available off-the-shelf, named NAT-SDR-FLEX, include all the hardware and software needed to build these applications with scalability from eight to 72 channels, or more using multiple systems.

Software defined radios (SDRs) have historically been created with digital signal processors (DSPs) providing the core processing power. Increasing performance demands and the rapidly evolving market limits DSP-based SDRs, which N.A.T. has overcome by using flexible, programmable FPGAs. To simplify and accelerate the development of FPGA-based SDRs, N.A.T. has invested significant resources in creating comprehensive software support packages and documentation. This offering goes beyond the basic board support packages, drivers and operating systems to include libraries, sample projects, sample application software and application notes to support developers more than ever before.

NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDRThe heart of the N.A.T. SDR portfolio is a modular AMC board, the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR, that combines the latest Analog Devices large bandwidth RF-transceivers (ADVR 9009) and a powerful Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ FPGA with integrated quad-core ARM® processor. This board can be configured with different RF front end and front panel I/O simply by choosing N.A.T.’s FMC-boards with the required functions. SDR properties, such as number of RF channels, filtering and control IO for external RF, can be integrated into the platform by selecting from a wide range of FMC building blocks. N.A.T. can also collaborate with customers to develop custom mezzanine cards with special functions.

The NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR can be easily integrated into any system hosting AMCs, which are open standards-based modules, allowing a flexible and application-specific scaling of the number of RF interfaces. In addition to further SDR units, other AMCs such as processing units can be selected from the market and easily added thanks to a standardized plug-and-play architecture.

For a quick and easy start, the N.A.T. turnkey systems (NAT-SDR-FLEX) are available in three options:

NAT-SDR-FLEX-S: 1U table-top or set-top-box system that includes the 8-channel RF front-end module and an Intel® Xeon® based processing module for base band processing. 

  

Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC)
NAT-SDR-FLEX-S

NAT-SDR-FLEX-M: 19” 1U rack-mount non-redundant system capable of 16-channels out-of-the-box (two RF front-ends and Intel® Xeon® based PrAMC) and expandable up to 32 channels.

 

  

Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC)
NAT-SDR-FLEX-M

NAT-SDR-FLEX-L: 19” 3U rack-mount fully redundant system capable of 16-channels out-of-the-box (two RF front-ends and Intel® Xeon® based PrAMC) and expandable up to 72 channels, plus options for precision timing modules and additional hot-swap power capability.

  

Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC)
NAT-SDR-FLEX-L

In order to help customers adopt FPGA-based SDRs quickly and easily, N.A.T. provides comprehensive software support packages and documentation including:

  • VIVADO® sample projects
  • Linux board support package and host driver
  • N.A.T. libraries for 8 channel phase sync operation and low latency streaming of IQ samples
  • Generic LibIIO API
  • Getting started guide and user manual
  • Hardware and software manuals
  • Sample applications for GNUradio and Matlab
  • Sample applications for phase synchronization and frequency hopping

N.A.T. also offers product customization and custom designs to meet customers hardware requirements, such as ruggedization, a custom footprint, or DC input power.