[USRP-users] FW: Fwd: GNURadio USRP Tablet

Ralph A. Schmid, dk5ras ralph at schmid.xxx
Thu Dec 18 05:31:44 EST 2014



I am using a MS Surface pro Windows 8.1 tablet with i7 CPU (so this is a
real PC in tablet shape), and Gnuradio has no problems in using up the CPU
power at 100%...




From: USRP-users [ <mailto:usrp-users-bounces at lists.ettus.com>
mailto:usrp-users-bounces at lists.ettus.com] On Behalf Of Marcus Müller via
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 6:35 PM
To:  <mailto:usrp-users at lists.ettus.com> usrp-users at lists.ettus.com
Subject: Re: [USRP-users] Fwd: GNURadio USRP Tablet


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

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.

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