Sora high performance software radio is now open source

Sora high performance software radio is now open source by Jane Ma.

From the post:

Microsoft researchers today announced that their high-performance software radio project is now open sourced through GitHub. The goal for Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora) is to develop the most advanced software radio possible, capable of implementing the latest wireless communication technology easily and efficiently.

"We believe that a fully open source Sora will better support the research community on more scientific innovation," said Kun Tan, a senior research on the software radio project team.

Conventionally, the critical lower layer processing in wireless communication systems, i.e., the physical layer (PHY) and medium access control (MAC), are typically implemented in hardware (ASIC chips), due to high-computational and real-time requirements. However, designing ASIC is very costly and inflexible since ASIC chips are fixed. Once delivered, it cannot be changed or upgraded. The lack of flexibility and programmability makes experimental research in wireless communication very difficult. Software Radio (or SDR), on the contrary, proposes implementing all these low-level PHY and MAC processes through software, which is practical for development, debugging and updating. The challenge, however, is how the software can stay up to date with hardware in terms of performance.

See also: Microsoft's Wireless and Networking research group

Sora was developed to solve this significant challenge. Sora is a fully programmable high-performance software radio that is capable of implementing state-of-the-art wireless technologies (Wi-Fi, LTE, MIMO, etc.). Sora is based on software running on a low-cost, commodity multi-core PC with a general purpose OS, i.e., Windows. A multi-core PC, plugged in to a PCIe radio control board, connecting to a third-party radio front-end with antenna, becomes a powerful software radio platform. The PC interface board transfers the raw wireless (I/Q) signals between the RF front-end and the PC memory through fast DMA. All signals are processed in the software running in the PC.

An avalanche of wireless signals will accompanying the Internet of Things (IoT). Intercepting all of them with custom hardware would be prohibitively expensive.

Thanks to Microsoft, you can skip the custom hardware step.

Remember: The question is who is listening?, not if?.

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