NI releases software-defined radio module

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National Instruments has commercially released the NI 5791 RF transceiver adapter module for NI FlexRIO, which is currently being used in multiple cutting-edge research projects on 5G technologies. The module forms a powerful SDR system when paired with an NI FlexRIO FPGA module for real-time, user-designed processing. Through triggering mechanisms provided by the PXI platform, users can synchronise eight or more transceivers for MIMO and beamforming configurations. The NI 5791 comes with extensive FPGA digital signal processing (DSP) libraries and example architectures for common signal processing applications.

The NI 5791 RF transceiver adapter module interfaces with NI FlexRIO FPGA modules on the PXI platform, offering up to 100MHz of transmit and receive bandwidth with contiguous frequency coverage from 200MHz to 4.4GHz. The transceiver is currently used in several research projects focused on 5G technologies at institutes such as the Dresden University of Technology, Polytechnic Institute of New York University and the University of Notre Dame. The NI 5791 takes advantage of the LabVIEW RIO architecture for graphical design of user-programmable FPGAs in software defined radio (SDR); signal intelligence (SIGINT); streaming to and from disk; multiple input, multiple output (MIMO); and beamforming applications.

The combination of the NI FlexRIO FPGA module and the NI 5791 is based on the same software technology developed for the world’s first vector signal transceiver (VST). This single-software framework using NI LabVIEW system design software enables faster prototyping in physical layer design applications. NI’s complete graphical system design approach provides a unified design flow for engineers and researchers working on wireless technologies to implement algorithms in FPGA hardware and on multicore processors without target-specific knowledge such as HDL or multithreaded programming. The NI 5791 adapter module is the latest addition to the NI SDR platform that includes the NI USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral), as well as instrumentation-grade, PXI-based software-designed instruments.

James Kimery, Director of RF/communications Lead User Programs at National Instruments, says: “The NI 5791 delivers superior RF performance needed to develop wide bandwidth software defined radios. The combination of the NI 5791, NI FlexRIO and LabVIEW enables researchers investigating leading wireless technologies to rapidly prototype and innovate faster.”

Product features

  • Tunable RF transceiver covers 200 MHz to 4.4 GHz
  • Up to 100 MHz real-time bandwidth at 16 bits
  • Large Xilinx DSP-focused FPGAs for real-time signal processing
  • System design based on LabVIEW with included DSP libraries
  • High-speed, low-latency PXI Express ×4 (~800 MB/s) connection to the host

Additional resources

02 November 2012

National Instruments Corporation (UK) Ltdvisit website
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