Feature Story


More feature stories by year:

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998

Return to: 2006 Feature Stories

CLIENT: SDR Forum

July 3, 2006: Wireless Net DesignLine

SDR FORUM SETS SIGHTS ON EXPANDING MARKETS

It's not often that an industry association has a CTO but in the case of the Software-Defined Radio (SDR) Forum it's not just appropriate—it's essential.

Lee Pucker, whose "day job" is being CTO of Spectrum Signal Processing Inc., Burnaby, B.C., Canada, will have the task of keeping the SDR Forum's technology ducks in a row and it expands into new applications and standardizes its technology to make it more competitive.

Having a CTO is essential for the SDR Forum because the technology has so much potential and can address so many applications that it would all too easy to see different applications each have a unique implementation.

The SDR Forum's technology goal, Pucker says is "ubiquitous communications" (with "wireless" understood). That means wherever you are and regardless of what communications link you want—you can have it.

In other words, the available air interface may be Wi-Fi, WiMAX or whatnot but the SDR radio in your cell phone or PDA will configure itself to make a communications link happen.

Standardization is needed in the realm of common architectures and, where necessary, API's so data can traverse the entire signal chain seamlessly. If those things are not in place, it will mean a lot more effort from systems-level engineers as they try to piece together their application.

Standard interfaces are needed between software modules, between components, system software and between hardware and software.

While standards are essential for SDR to fulfill its potential, attention has to be paid to application groups as well. SDR found its first important application in the defense industry, where its adoption rate has been strong, but commercial and public safety applications also hold a lot of potential.

In the realm of public safety, SDR is already deployed in LMR (Land Mobile Radio) applications but it is simply a matter of supporting different protocols. A recent SDR Forum report Software-Defined Radio Technology for Public Safety, recommends that SDR could be more effectively used by supporting multi-band and multi-service radios.

With all this activity from a group that was once content to develop the technology and let the world beat a path to its door, Pucker will have plenty to do. As CTO, his primary responsibilities include recommending appropriate technical initiatives, ensuring architectural coherence and consistency of Forum work products, and acting and the primary technical authority on all Forum activities.

Return to: 2006 Feature Stories