FPGAs for DSP and Software-Defined Radio

EC ENGR 860.40

This course covers the fundamentals of design and implementation of real-time DSP-enabled software defined radios (SDR) using Xilinx (Zynq) FPGAs.  

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What you can learn.

  • Design, simulate, and implement a complete model-based design flow with MathWork's MATLAB and Simulink software tools
  • Learn relevant multi-rate DSP algorithms and techniques in communications modulation methods, quadrature/QAM transceiver designs, and timing and synchronization receivers

About this course:

In this short course we will present, review, simulate then implement real-time DSP enabled software defined radios (SDR) on laptops, Raspberry Pis, Xilinx (Zynq) SoC FPGAs with RF transceivers.  The design, simulation and implementation will take the form of a complete model based design work-flow from within MathWork’s MATLAB and Simulink software tools. The course will ensure attendees are educated in key relevant multi-rate DSP algorithms and techniques, in communications modulation methods, quadrature/QAM transceiver designs, and timing and synchronisation. The first part of the course will educate on DSP and communications, followed by a second part on FPGA systems implementation (focussing on Xilinx Zynq SoC) and introduce MathWorks Embedded and HDL Coder methods for hardware targeting. In the third and final part of the course we will develop real-time ‘desktop’ implementations of SDR transceivers using a model based design flow.  We will start with floating point designs, which will evolve to fixed point, and then undergo final code generation stages with the Embedded and HDL Coder packages prior to FPGA deployment.. All attendees on the course will use (and take home!) an RTL-SDR device (which tunes from  25MHz to 1.75GHz) and have access to a Raspberry Pi and Zynq SDR kits in class hosting the RTL-SDR device and a wideband FMComms RF card respectively. The class format will be 40% lecture, 20% live SDR demonstration and 40% hands-on ‘desptop SDR’ using software and SDR hardware. Previous successful and hands-on versions of this course were given in March 2015 at the IEEE Vehicular Telecommunications Conference, in August 2015 at the IEEE Signal Processing and Education event in Utah, and also an IEEE Metro Workshop in October 2015 in the UK.

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