ITTC Project

A Framework for Re-targeting Radio Designs

Project Award Date: 08-10-2007


Software defined radios (SDRs) offer the capability of quickly changing the capabilities of a radio by re-programming the hardware platform. The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) is the acme of sophisticated SDRs. However, the approach taken in the JTRS program is to define a Software Communications Architecture (SCA) that primarily specifies the interfaces between system components rather than the components themselves. And while this approach promises re-usable software components, it does not address the challenge of re-using designs of radio hardware components.

ITTC researchers will develop a framework for re-targeting radio designs to facilitate the design, re-use, and re-targeting of radio designs. Radio design encompasses the specification and implementation of the system(s) that actually process bits and signals that implement the physical radio. The framework includes the set of tools to specify, optimize, and instantiate a radio design in a number of technologies (e.g. general purpose processors, digital signal processors, field programmable gate arrays, or application specific integrated circuits). Re-targeting will allow the re-use of radio designs on multiple implementations.

The Radio Design Framework (RDF) project is threefold. First, ITTC researchers will develop a framework with a user-oriented, graphical interface to specify radio components. Next they will include an intermediate specification language that is suitable for automated processing within the framework as well. The graphic descriptions are translated into this specification language. This aspect supports well-defined specification transforms and validation checks based on user criteria and technology capabilities and constraints. Third, the framework supports conversion of the intermediate specification into commercially available languages (e.g. VHDL or Verilog) and tools (e.g. vendor specific descriptions). Commercial tools can be used to carry out the final design implementation.

A major focus of current DARPA programs is on reducing the manufacturing cost of radios. This proposal supports that focus by addressing the challenge of reducing the non-recurring engineering costs of designing radios. This initial study focuses on designing the architecture for a RDF and demonstrating the feasibility of the architecture.


Faculty Investigator(s): Gary Minden (PI), Joseph Evans, Perry Alexander

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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