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N.A.T. Announces Comprehensive New Software Defined Radio (SDR) Product Line for Wireless Network Deployment, Testing and Phased Arrays

Ranging from building block components to complete application-ready systems including application software, N.A.T. overcomes the limitations of DSPs to target next generation networks

N.A.T., a leading supplier of embedded boards and systems based on open standards, today announced a new range of software defined radio (SDR) products that enable wireless network developers to speed and simplify their application development and deployment.

The new N.A.T product portfolio ranges from an individual radio frequency (RF) card in the FMC form factor (NAT-FMC-SDR4)  to turnkey, field-deployable 19-inch rack-mounted systems (NAT-SDR-FLEX) with application software and sample projects. These SDR solutions can streamline the development and deployment of applications, improving time-to-market while retaining flexibility. Applications include:

Wide band receivers for scanning and direction-finding
Wide band transmitters, used for jamming
4G and 5G network test equipment
Proof-of-concept setups including custom waveforms and beamforming,
Sensing techniques for cognitive radio
Remote radio heads (RRH) for phased antenna arrays
The optional 5G (3GPP rel.15) package enables private wireless network applications such as wideband LTE/5G base station and radio units as well as narrowband cellular IOT (cIOT). The N.A.T. turnkey systems available off-the-shelf, named NAT-SDR-FLEX, include all the hardware and software needed to build these applications with scalability from eight to 72 channels, or more using multiple systems.

Software defined radios (SDRs) have historically been created with digital signal processors (DSPs) providing the core processing power. Increasing performance demands and the rapidly evolving market limits DSP-based SDRs, which N.A.T. has overcome by using flexible, programmable FPGAs. To simplify and accelerate the development of FPGA-based SDRs, N.A.T. has invested significant resources in creating comprehensive software support packages and documentation. This offering goes beyond the basic board support packages, drivers and operating systems to include libraries, sample projects, sample application software and application notes to support developers more than ever before.

The heart of the N.A.T. SDR portfolio is a modular AMC board, the NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR, that comb ines the latest Analog Devices large bandwidth RF-transceivers (ADVR 9009) and a powerful Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ FPGA with integrated quad-core ARM® processor. This board can be configured with different RF front end and front panel I/O simply by choosing N.A.T.’s FMC-boards with the required functions. SDR properties, such as number of RF channels, filtering and control IO for external RF, can be integrated into the platform by selecting from a wide range of FMC building blocks. N.A.T. can also collaborate with customers to develop custom mezzanine cards with special functions.

The NAT-AMC-ZYNQUP-SDR can be easily integrated into any system hosting AMCs, which are open standards-based modules, allowing a flexible and application-specific scaling of the number of RF interfaces. In addition to further SDR units, other AMCs such as processing units can be selected from the market and easily added thanks to a standardized plug-and-play architecture.

For a quick and easy start, the N.A.T. turnkey systems (NAT-SDR-FLEX) are available in three options:

NAT-SDR-FLEX-S: 1U table-top or set-top-box system that includes the 8-channel RF front-end module and an Intel® Xeon® based processing module for base band processing.

NAT-SDR-FLEX-M: 19” 1U rack-mount non-redundant system capable of 16-channels out-of-the-box (two RF front-ends and Intel® Xeon® based PrAMC) and expandable up to 32 channels.

NAT-SDR-FLEX-L: 19” 3U rack-mount fully redundant system capable of 16-channels out-of-the-box (two RF front-ends and Intel® Xeon® based PrAMC) and expandable up to 72 channels, plus options for precision timing modules and additional hot-swap power capability.

In order to help customers adopt FPGA-based SDRs quickly and easily, N.A.T. provides comprehensive software support packages and documentation including:

VIVADO® sample projects
Linux board support package and host driver
A.T. libraries for 8 channel phase sync operation and low latency streaming of IQ samples
Generic LibIIO API
Getting started guide and user manual
Hardware and software manuals
Sample applications for GNUradio and Matlab
Sample applications for phase synchronization and frequency hopping
N.A.T. also offers product customization and custom designs to meet customers hardware requirements, such as ruggedization, a custom footprint, or DC input power.

About N.A.T.

Founded in 1990 with the aim of developing high-performance network interfaces for industrial computers, N.A.T is a privately owned and financed company with headquarters in Bonn, Germany and certified distributors and sales agents worldwide. The company has developed substantial knowledge in networking technologies across a wide range of open, standards-based architectures including VMEbus, CompactPCI, PCI, PCI Express and several mezzanine standards such as PMC, IP™ and M-Modules. N.A.T. was at the forefront when the AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA and AMC standards were introduced and is today one of the leading suppliers for board and system level products based on AMC and MicroTCA. The product portfolio includes line interfaces, network processors, single- and multicore data engines, management and system controllers, 19″ rack mountable chassis, power supplies and of course the communication protocols and middle-ware to build turn-key and application-ready systems. For more information, please visit www.nateurope.com.

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