Yesterday, NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology – Japan) issued a press release announcing they had put together a cognitive radio capable of automatically selecting to connect with networks supporting various flavors of WiFi and WCDMA. Waveform processing is performed on an unspecified FPGA which can be reconfigured in 200 ms; network detection takes 1 second; the RF chain goes between 400 MHz and 6 GHz with 6 different center frequencies.
- Network selection isn’t new (Intel holds some key patents on this)
- This is really more in line with the UMA effort than with cogntiive radio (not that they need to be mutually exclusive).
- It’s nice to see (quasi) commercial interest. Most CR work is defense focused.
- You have to expect that the simplest applications will be tackled first
- presumably the platform can be extended.
- FPGAs are likely not an immediately fieldable solution for handsets (which this seems targeted towards) due to power consumption considerations. However, both Xilinx and Altera are working to drive down power consumption, so this might be a viable platform in a few years.