An FPGA scalable software defined radio platform design for educational and research purposes

Marcos Hervás, Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès, Martí Salvador

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In a digital modem design, the integration of the Analog to Digital Converters (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converters (DAC) with the core processor is usually a major issue for the designer. In this paper an FPGA scalable Software Defined Radio platform based on a Spartan-6 as a control unit is presented, developed for both educational and research purposes, which can fit the different application requirements in terms of analog front-end performance, processing unit and cost. The resolution and sampling frequency of the analog front-end are its main adjustable parameters. The processing core requirements involve the FPGA and the communication ports. A multidisciplinary working group was required to design a high performance system for both analog front-end and digital processing core in terms of signal integrity and electromagnetic compatibility. The platform has 5 different peripheral ports ranging from 16 kbps to 2.5 Gbps. The communication ports allow our students to develop a high range of applications for both on-site and online courses applying teaching methodology based on learning by doing using a real system to help them to reach other transversal skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Educational platform
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
  • Field Programable Gate Array (FPGA)
  • Programable logic
  • Signal integrity
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)


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