Extreme SDR

By Dean ~ July 29th, 2011. Filed under: SDR & SCA.

When I think about Software Defined Radio (SDR), I’m generally coming at it from the perspective of the client terminal.  I tend to be worrying about a complex, resource constrained, embedded system — most likely powered by a battery. EETimes recently published a short blurb about a fellow who is approaching the problem from the complete opposite end of the spectrum (forgive the pun). According to the story, Steve Perlman, CEO of Rearden Companies, is proposing a technology called Digital Input, Distributed Output (DIDO).

According to the EETimes piece:

“The technique uses a data center as an intermediary for all wireless communications. The servers apparently compute waveforms specific to each wireless client’s data request.

Each client receives a unique waveform with just that user’s data. DIDO does this by synthesizing a private channel for each user, which is why each user gets 100 percent of the data rate of the spectrum, regardless of how many users share the spectrum…”

Mr. Perlman suggests that he may be able to achieve 1000x more bandwidth per increment of spectrum than what cellular operators are experiencing today.  He also suggests that average power may be 1% of that required by traditional cellular technology.  It’s easy to be skeptical of these truly bold claims, but it would sure be exciting if he turns out to be on to something…

Update (2011.08.04):
The MIT Technology Review just posted a great article that fills in many of the gaps left in this post.  See my follow-up post.

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1 Response to Extreme SDR

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