Originally appearing a week ago my mind keeps returning to the article by Timothy Lee from Ars Technica about software-defined radio, SDR. Having a single radio chip capable of supporting all mobile phone bands, Wi-Fi, GPS, RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, FM, digital TV and future radio bands is truly awesome.
“Traditional radio chips are hard-wired to communicate using one specific protocol. For example, a typical cell phone has several different chips to handle a variety of radio communications: one to talk to cell phone towers, another to contact Wi-Fi base stations, a third to receive GPS signals, and a fourth to communicate with Bluetooth devices. In contrast, software-defined radio hardware works with raw electromagnetic signals, relying on software to implement specific applications”.
Software devs must be salivating at the endless possibilities offered by SDR. They just need to get the hardware into phones, tablets and ultrabooks at the maximum possible rate. Per Vices have their Phi card out there for immediate use. We also need to support Ettus Research and their Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) concept, and encourage some miniaturisation to allow incorporation into our handheld devices.