[USRP-users] Fwd: GNURadio USRP Tablet

Marcus Müller marcus.mueller at ettus.com
Wed Dec 17 12:35:22 EST 2014

Hi Jeevake,

UHD runs on a lot of systems -- basically, as long as you have a proper
windows, a GNU/Linux environment or Mac OS X, you should be able to get
UHD to run. The processor architecture itself is of minor importance --
for example, UHD runs very well on our embedded devices, which sport ARM

GNU Radio is generally as portable. Anything that behaves a bit like a
POSIX-compliant OS should do, and Windows should, too. Most GNU Radio
devs are using Linux or OS X [1], and it will be easiest to get helpful
hints for these platforms. GNU Radio should run on any CPU architecture.
I don't want to talk too much about GNU Radio on Android, but it might
be something to be available in the future ;)

So, basically, you're not really very limited by the platform itself.
However, there are some consideration to be made:

USB3 is necessary for any sample rate >8MS/s. This limits the number of
viable Android tablets drastically. Also, not all USB3 controllers are
created equally. Some behave so strangely that you can't use the B200
them, others deliver limited maximum rates. See [2].

Also, and this is the larger aspect of the whole "which tablet to use":
You're going to do real time digital signal processing at megasample
rates. This means that your CPU simply *can't be powerful enough*. Ok,
if you're going to do 4MS/s without much latency constraints, doing
nothing but displaying a abs(FFT) every few seconds, your smartphone
might be powerful enough. But doing a 101-tap FIR at 16MS/s, followed by
some correlation detector, or whatever complex application you might
have in mind, requires serious processing power.

All in all: I'd start off with a desktop computer, build my application.
If it works, analyze CPU consumption, and choose a platform that easily
handles that load. Pay attention to the fact that GNU Radio is heavily
optimized for x86 with SIMD instructions (SSE and so on), and your
non-CISC platform might simply need more instructions to do the same thing.


[1] very personal observation. I could be totally wrong.
On 12/17/2014 06:23 AM, Jeevake Attapattu via USRP-users wrote:
> To whom it may concern,
> My name is Jeevake. I am an senior undergraduate in electrical and
> computer engineering. I plan on using the USRP B200 for my senior
> design project. The end product needs to be portable. I intend on
> using a tablet to ensure portability.
> My question is; what kind of hard ware & software could i run GNURadio
> and UHD with? Does it have to be a CISC processor? Will an android or
> Windows RT work as a host OS?
> Yours sincerely,
> Jeevake Attapattu.
> _______________________________________________
> USRP-users mailing list
> USRP-users at lists.ettus.com
> http://lists.ettus.com/mailman/listinfo/usrp-users_lists.ettus.com

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