Altera and Lime Microsystems demonstrate programmable RF- and FPGA-based solutions for military communications

Altera Corporation and Lime Microsystems, a provider of fully programmable radio frequency (RF) transceivers headquartered in the UK, have been demonstrating a new multi-standard software-defined radio (SDR) platform at the Military Communications Conference (MILCOM) 2014 being held in Baltimore. The SDR platform, based on Lime’s field-programmable radio frequency (FP-RF) chip and Altera FPGAs and Enpirion PowerSoCs, can be used to design a radio that can receive and transmit widely different radio protocols (sometimes referred to as waveforms) depending solely on the software used.

This highly flexible solution, which includes Lime’s new RF device, the LMS7002M, gives communications systems designers greater flexibility and performance while consuming a minimum of power.

CEO of Lime Ebrahim Bushehri, commenting on the joint solution said, “By combining an Altera FPGA for digital processing with a Lime field-programmable RF (FP-RF) transceiver, we can offer a new level of wireless performance and the ultimate solution for SDR applications. Altera’s FPGAs paired with Lime’s FP-RF transceivers enable designers to create low-cost, fully programmable wireless systems across multiple applications such as remote radio heads, base stations, military communications, software-defined radios, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Altera and Lime worked closely together to improve the system designer experience. These devices can be easily programmed to produce any combination of waveform and RF transmission, and fully support multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless applications and other RF techniques useful for military communications.

“The cooperation between Lime and Altera will give developers easy access to open-source, optimised reference designs, boards and software stacks and drivers,” said Ian Land, senior manager, Military, Aerospace and Government business unit at Altera. “Open source provides a quick, easy and affordable method to build next-generation secure wireless systems.”


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