Agile and high-performance SDR systems

Responsible: Nikolaos Bartzoudis

Team members: Pepe Rubio, Luis Blanco, Miquel Payaró

Programming languages & design tools:

  • System/Algorithm modelling: Matlab
  • SDR programming (targeting general-purpose processors): C/C++,
  • HDL coding: VHDL, Verilog
  • Embedded OS: Xilinx PetaLinux, Analog Devices Ubuntu distribution
  • Embedded MPSoC tools: Xilinx Open Asymmetric Multi Processing (OpenAMP)
  • FPGA design tools: Mentor Questasim, Xilinx Vivado toolchain (System Edition)
  • SDR frameworks: GNU Radio (with RFNoC)
  • Use/Integration of 3rd party code: ns-3 LTE extensions (LENA)
  • FPGA devices (Xilinx): Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, Xilinx Zynq-7000, Virtex 7, Kintex 7
  • Design methodology, SDR platforms & developed PoCs: see the related sections in GEDOMIS®


This research topic comprises four areas featuring a certain degree of interdependency and complementarity among them. In the following, we are summarizing the key facts and figures of each focused area (i.e., ordered according to their maturity level).


Focused R&D area 1

  • Digital design for SDR systems (PHY-layer) that require real-time FPGA co-processing in order to accelerate bit-intensive DSP algorithms.
  • Hardware-software co-design applied to FPGA-based SoC devices.
  • Run-time partial reconfiguration of HDL and firmware functions targeting the programmable logic (PL) and processing system (PS) respectively of FPGA-based SoC devices.


Partial reconfiguration solution for a Zynq-7000 device (click to enlarge the figure).


Related projects

  • Ongoing
    • National: 5G-TRIDENT, SensorQ (MoD)
  • Previous:
    • H2020: Flex5Gware, ORCA (third party)
    • FP7: BeFEMTO, BuNGee, Emphatic
    • National/regional: AEThER, GRE3N, GEDOMIS-ADCOMM, MIMOWA
    • Industrial: AT4 Wireless (Keysight, USA), ITERATE (TTI Norte, Spain), BeMImoMAX (Nutaq, Canada), GIPRE, (Gilat, Israel), Small Cell AVE (Hispasat, Spain)

Key developed technologies: FPGA-based SDR making use of the GEDOMIS® testbed

  • PHY-layer of mobile WiMAX and LTE rel. 9, 10 (eNB & UE) featuring different MIMO schemes.
  • Interference mitigation in Heterogeneous Networks using cognitive radio principles.
  • Flexible spectral coexistence of broadband FBMC or LTE waveforms with primary narrowband transmissions (TETRA/TETRAPOL).
  • Digital Front End (DFE) and system interfacing of a 5G multi-antenna Remote Radio Head (RRH).
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  • Run-time partial reconfiguration of FPGA-based SDR platforms for 5G use cases.
    • Dissemination in progress

Ongoing R&D effort

  • 5G NR
  • NB-IoT

Focused R&D area 2

  • Design of DSP algorithms for wireless communication systems
Design of a joint synchronization and interference mitigation algorithm: the LTE DL signal received by a UE (served by a macro BS) receives also the interfering DL signal of a femto HeNB operating in the same band (click to enlarge).

Related projects

  • Ongoing:
    • National: 5G-TRIDENT, SensorQ (MoD)
  • Previous:
    • EC- funded projects: CoopCom (FET), BeFEMTO (FP7), Emphatic (FP7)
    • Industrial: AT4 Wireless (Keysight, USA), MUMO (Dimat ZIV, Spain), Small Cell Ave (Hispasat, Spain), MBIESA (MBI, Italy), SatNEx (European Space Agency), Inmarsat-I6 (Inmarsat, UK), I-CUBE (Inmarsat, UK).
    • Internal: SiLenCe

Key developed technologies: some of which used the GEDOMIS® testbed

  • Wireless synchronization for 5G NR and 4G.
  • Modelling of 5G NR and LTE Physical layer standard and development of a real-time 4G-LTE standard-compliant platform to test user equipment.
  • Design of interference management algorithms for macrocell/femtocell coordination in 4G-LTE.
  • Development of new algorithms and implementation of cooperative schemes for wireless relay networks.
  • Design and Implementation of an integral communications system for HV-PLC (High Voltage – Power Line Communications).
  • Design of novel energy-harvesting-aware transmission policies for ultra-low power mMTC.
  • Design and implementation of spectrum sensing algorithms in the context of Broadband Professional Mobile Radio based on compressed sensing.

Ongoing R&D effort

  • 5G NR
  • NB-IoT

Key references


Focused R&D Area 3

  • Design, implementation and KPI-driven validation of flexible SDR systems serving RAN functional splits (FS)

 HW-SW codesign using a Zynq-7000 for the functional split 6 at the eNB side (click to enlarge).



 MAC-PHY interface for an uninterrupted real-time operation (click to enlarge).


Related projects

  • Ongoing:
    • 5G-TRIDENT
  • Previous:
    • H2020: Flex5Gware
    • National: AEThER

Key developed technologies: FPGA-based SDR making use of the GEDOMIS® testbed

  • Integration of a proprietary FPGA-based real-time PHY-layer with the MAC-layer of LENA (LTE extensions of ns-3), through a flexible PHY-MAC interface using a COTS SDR platform.
  • Functional split 6 (PHY-MAC) and 8 (PHY-RF) as defined in the 3GPP standard.

Key references:

  • [1], [2], [3], [4]


Ongoing R&D effort

  • KPI-driven dynamic FS reconfiguration

Focused R&D area 4

  • Design and integration of hardware-accelerated functions in the context of NFV and adaptive SDR end-scenarios 

Related work/projects

  • Ongoing effort

Key references

  • Relevant publications in the literature (to be added)