[Discuss-gnuradio] nVidia's Tegra 4 has SDR - the i500 LTE soft modem from Icera

Michael Davis mjmdavis at gmail.com
Thu May 2 07:10:36 UTC 2013


This is not a Radio per se. It's a modem chip built in the style of a modern Graphics Card (GPU).
It's effectively a DSP chip under another name. It requires the frontend and ADC, from an rtlsdr for example, before it can do anything.

This kind of device takes the fun out of SDR in some respects. The wonderful thing about SDR as we know it is that modern computers are fast enough to do all the processing on the CPU in real time (for many applications). This makes developing software etc far easier since you can use languages and tools that you are familiar with, are easily debuggable and don't require as much specialist knowledge.

That said, it might require less effort to program than one of the FPGA's onboard an Ettus or something like that so for embedded systems it's an attractive proposition. You might one day be able to flash your phone to make it into a TV receiver or something like that.

Interesting stuff.

On 2 May 2013, at 05:19, Jay Salsburg <jsalsburg at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> This chip is a Cell Phone Radio mostly for the 2 to 4 GHz band. The announcement below is a press release for the rollout of the chip to cell phone manufacturers. The technical specifications are probably proprietary and any development boards, if any, will probably be only for licensed developers, translation; “for those who can afford it.” To HACK this device would require sophisticated Laboratory equipment, again, it is all about money.
> From: osmocom-sdr-bounces at lists.osmocom.org [mailto:osmocom-sdr-bounces at lists.osmocom.org] On Behalf Of est
> Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:51 PM
> To: ultra-cheap-sdr at googlegroups.com; osmocom-sdr at lists.osmocom.org
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] nVidia's Tegra 4 has SDR - the i500 LTE soft modem from Icera
> Hello group,
> What do you guys think of the nVidia Tegra 4's i500 SDR?
> http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/nvidia-i500-soft-modem/
> http://www.nvidia.com/docs/IO/116757/NVIDIA_i500_whitepaper_FINALv3.pdf
> Is it hackable?

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