Rockwell Collins, Inc. is a large U.S.-based company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that provides avionics and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers. Rockwell Collins recently selected Nutaq's PicoSDR 2×2 as a development and prototyping platform for its software-defined radio (SDR) research.

Their reasoning for choosing the PicoSDR 2×2 was simple:

'We chose Nutaq for SDR development because it will provide more reconfigurable capabilities than USRP.'

The PicoSDR is a table-top SDR solution that, when combined with Nutaq’s software tools, simplifies and accelerates the development process. The PicoSDR 2×2 incorporates up a multi-mode SDR dual-channel RF transceiver module (Radio420X) and a powerful Virtex-6 FPGA to form a 2×2 multiple-input/multiple output (MIMO) turnkey solution, from baseband processing to the air interface. The PicoSDR is capable of streaming data to and from a remote PC over a high-speed Gigabit Ethernet or PCIe interface.

PicoSDR – A table-top SDR platform

PicoSDR – A table-top SDR platform

Rockwell Collins selected the PicoSDR based on its impressive specifications and functionality, particularly in terms of its ability to be quickly reconfigured for different applications:

  • Frequency range: 0.3–3.8 GHz
  • Selectable bandwidth: 1.5–28.0 MHz
  • Access to full MIMO radio bandwidth via PCIe interface
  • Virtex-6 FPGA

Along with its powerful and flexible hardware architecture, the PicoSDR simplifies and accelerate application development. It enables three types of workflows depending on the customer’s requirements:

  • Board Software Development Kit (BSDK): Enables HDL design for maximum flexibility.
  • Model Based Design Kit (MBDK): Enables the use of Simulink/System Generator blocks to design the FPGA and auto-generate the HDL needed to program it.
  • GNU Radio: Enables a model-based approach that can be used for programming the host PC.

Another deciding factor was Nutaq’s high degree of customer support, to ensure they use the PicoSDR to its fullest potential. Nutaq offers its customers a wide range of support options and resources – complete reference designs and examples, hands-on assistance, documentation and demonstration videos, information about the latest industry trends and events – whatever is necessary to support your projects and accelerate the design, testing and deployment of innovative ideas.