The software defined radio (SDR) technology has undergone various technical and use-related changes in the past few years. SDR is a radio communication system where communication is carried out with software on an embedded system or personal computer. It eliminated the use of any hardware like amplifiers, filters, detectors, mixers, and modulators. Software defined radio can transmit and receive a broad frequency spectrum.

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What is the software defined radio technology?

Software-defined radio continues to evolve technologically as it can transmit and receive high-frequency, long-range signals. This provides many benefits while dealing with problems related to spectrum limits and wireless communications. In addition, technologies have matured to now support wide-bandwidth SDR implementations and provide high-quality service. Military modernization efforts in several countries such as the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Australia, with a focus on improving their communication systems, are projected to drive SDR demand over the forecast period.

Software defined radio for various industry verticals:

Commercial aviation

A software-defined radio (SDR) system is identical to a front end radio frequency (RF) device. Previously hard-wired features such as modulation/demodulation, and encoding/decoding are not programmable. A benefit of SDR, relative to traditional radios, is the ability to reduce life-cycle costs. If additional capacity is needed once the radio has been delivered, this capacity can be added via software in most cases, thereby reducing the need for physical hardware change. SDR has seen deployment for combat troops among ground-based radio systems and is beginning to be employed in military avionics.

Public safety

In general, SDRs have software control of the operating parameters of the radio frequency, such as modulation preference, frequency transfer, bandwidth and transmit power level. An SDR framework can include multiple layers in the OSI hierarchy, but it includes mainly the physical link and sometimes part of the network layer.

When it comes to public safety, some main principles and strategies must be implemented in SDR. First responders must be effective because every second can be vital to life. This includes a stable, interoperable, efficient, scalable, and secure communications network. Currently, there are many various public safety departments that are constrained by incompatible radio systems operating on different frequency bands and/or using different protocols, requiring ad-hoc bridges between networks.

Telecommunication

Standards for commercial wireless networks are evolving constantly, from 2G/3G to 4G and 5G. These modifications create issues for customers, wireless network providers and suppliers of equipment; because consumers are forced to purchase new handsets when a new generation of network standards is introduced.

On the contrary, wireless network operators face problems, due to the existence of various subscribers, during network migration from one generation to the next. Each time a new standard is introduced in the market, the subscriber must purchase a new handset. Only SDR chip incorporation in mobile handsets will solve this migration problem, as only software upgrades will be necessary to solve the entire problem.

Software defined radio trends and industry insights

  1. In April 2019, BAE Systems has launched the new general software-defined radio assembly for industrial high-reliability and space applications from the Department of Defence. The SDR incorporates RAD5545 Single Board Computer (SBC) of the company with advanced Field Programmable Gate Array-based transceivers for versatility, on-orbit reprogram ability and improved signal processing capacity. The software's special, upgradable SpaceVPX architecture specified radio (SDR) can accommodate an alternative transceiver or design upgrade while maintaining assembly integrity.
  2. Huawei released a Single Run device named 3G/2G Software Defined Radio (SDR) in November 2019. This product allowed mobile operators to move from 2 G to 3 G, or use both at the same time, providing operators with a total cost of ownership savings. The solution is built-in either 2G, 3G or mixed mode to allow operators to make considerable savings on CAPEX and OPEX, as they only need to install a single base station on the Radio Access Network compared to the costs of two independent 2G and 3G networks.
  3. The demand for next-generation IP systems is growing, as one can increase profitability by providing consumers a variety of IP network products across the networks that bring new technologies to the market more rapidly, reduce transaction costs, and improve end-user experience. Highly mobile front- line communications of the next generation generally move away from the high-power single line of touch methods to a low power mesh network.

 

In this network, more operators are connected together through a multi-node mesh system. These networks are less vulnerable to single failure points and are designed to be self-healing so that the communications packets find the right route to the destination depending on traffic levels and available system bandwidth.

To sum up

The software defined radio market is witnessing a rapid adoption of IoT and wireless devices. Innovations in the technology for cellular infrastructure have undergone innovations such as changes in RF amplifier technology. Smartphone designs, for example, have foreseen the adoption of technologies like Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) and Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW).

Free Valuable Insights: Global Software Defined Radio (SDR) Market to reach a market size of USD 34.6 billion by 2025

Due to the low power filter requirements and restricted fractional bandwidth, the price factor for these has also been fairly narrowed. On the other hand, the drawbacks of using SDR technology include designing SDR, an expensive hardware and software platform.

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