The SpectrumWare Approach to Wireless Signal Processing

to appear in Wireless Networks, 1996


David L. Tennenhouse
Vanu G. Bose

Telemedia Networks and Systems Group
Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT


The SpectrumWare project is applying a software oriented approach to wireless communication and distributed signal processing. Advances in processor and analog-to-digital conversion technology have made it possible to implement virtual radios that directly sample wide bands of the RF spectrum, and process these samples in application software. The elimination of dedicated hardware introduces tremendous flexibility into a wireless communications system. However, our approach goes further than the software implementation of traditional signal processing functions. We use processor and network memory to temporally decouple the sample streams from the software modules so that the bulk of the processing can be realized within virtual time programming environments. Decoupling relaxes the temporal constraints on the processing algorithms and their execution. This paper describes the SpectrumWare concept, our experimental approach, and the implications that this approach has for wireless signal processing algorithms.


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