MSP430 Programming

This week I am working on my first steps to program a MSP430 microcontroller. I use the eZ430-RF2500 kit I which I get from the MSP430 day.

 I have tried to install the mspgcc compiler. I download the code I do a spi-bi-wire. When I try to debug and type C (continue for program on MSP430) the code is nog running. There is a problem that I have to figure out the following days. I keep you updated and will maybe soon publish a tutorial for programming the MSP430 eZ430-RF2500 kit with mspgcc when my problems are solved :-)



11:14 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: msp430, zigbee, rf, gcc |  Facebook |


SDR in Belgium

For those who are interested I hereby post some links of IMEC websites related to SDR (Software Defined Radio). SDR is the hottest topic on earth (so also in the air :-) ) at the moment.

 Software-defined radio front-ends


 Software defined radio flexible air interface


 Enjoy the readings!


Feel free to post links that are related to SDR as a comment in this post... I am searching to learn on this topic.


17:34 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: sdr, rf, imec, software-defined radio, air, interface |  Facebook |


3.5 Million Dollar for cognitive radio project

Researchers Win $3.5 Million to Improve Wireless Technology

GeneralAtlanta, GA – A Georgia Institute of Technology research team has received a $3.5 million grant to use tiny, power-saving analog chips to develop portable communications technology capable of scanning a broad range of radio-frequency (RF) bands for open channels.

The resulting analog spectral processors (ASP), to be developed at the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), would have a range of uses, from aiding battlefield communication to enabling cellular phones to find less-crowded frequencies.

ASP technology is related to the “cognitive radio” (CR) concept, which involves utilizing less-busy frequencies for optimal cell-phone and radio performance.

Farrokh Ayazi
, a GEDC researcher who is co-director of the Center for MEMS and Microsystems Technology (CMMT), is principal investigator on the project. The project, led by BAE Systems Inc, has received $11 million from DARPA, of which $3.5 million will go to Georgia Tech over three years. Purdue University is also on the BAE Systems team.

“The project’s goal is basically to create a small, low-power handheld device that combines a spectrum analyzer and a truly powerful communication device,” said Ayazi, who is an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). “The spectrum analyzer would scan the frequency spectrum all the way from 20 MHz to 6 GHz to find empty spots—channels that are receiving less use.”

This extensive range would allow ASPs to be useful in a range of applications, Ayazi said. Such a wide-band spectral processor would help soldiers switch channels quickly to avoid enemy jamming measures at military-use frequencies, while also enhancing military and civilian communications at other frequencies.

"Prof. Ayazi’s award continues to establish the GEDC as a world leader in the development of technologies for cognitive radio applications,” said Joy Laskar, GEDC’s director and the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The GEDC is a major player in the IEEE 802.22 CR standard, and this award will look to provide critical enabling analog-technology blocks that should impact both the DoD and commercial markets.”

Farrokh Ayazi Photo
Farrokh Ayazi, a Georgia Tech professor and research team leader with the Georgia Electronic Design Center, holds prototypes of the reconfigurable narrow-band MEMS filter arrays used in analog spectral processing.
Two other DARPA-funded teams are also working on spectral processors. A Rockwell-led team includes the University of San Diego, Stanford and Cornell University, while Honeywell is leading a team includes the University of California Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.

Central to the BAE Systems/Georgia Tech/Purdue effort will be extensive use of analog micro- and nano-mechanical circuits, rather than digital circuits, in designing spectral processors. In the analog domain, chips and other devices work by moving between signal levels in a continuous fashion, while digital chips and devices move between separate and discontinuous levels and do not recognize the transition between levels.

Micromechanical circuits have a number of advantages over electronic digital chips. They typically use far less power and run cooler than digital circuits, and are also smaller, offer much better communications quality, and are relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

“What we’re proposing is to solve the cognitive-radio problem in the analog domain rather than the digital domain, with virtually no added power,” Ayazi said.

To develop analog spectral processors, the Georgia Tech team will use micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), which are tiny analog machines that operate at the microscale – one millionth of a meter.

To scan and move swiftly between far-flung frequencies, the researchers will use MEMS technology in constructing arrays of micro-mechanical resonators, also known as bulk acoustic-wave (BAW) resonators. These devices play a role in finding and holding a radio-frequency signal.

In constructing extensive arrays of signal-seeking BAW resonators, researchers must choose between two approaches. One is to use resonators to create an array of many fixed filters—each tuned to a specific frequency—that will cover the entire spectrum. The other approach involves tunable filters that can move back and forth to some degree between frequencies. Ayazi said that further research will determine the optimal approach.

The structural material of choice for acoustic-wave resonators will be nano-crystalline diamond, micro-machined to reach frequencies of up to 10 GHz.

Researchers will also use silver, the highest-conductivity metal, in micro-machining the analog arrays. Silver will aid in achieving high-quality inductors and capacitors, the components that aid tuning to a specific frequency.

“This is a very exciting challenge, and it also involves a lot of advancement in the packaging technology for MEMS,” Ayazi said. “These ultra-small micro-mechanical components must be free to move, so the packaging is totally different than the traditional integrated circuit.”

He explained that the packaging material — the substance that holds and protects the ASPs — cannot come into contact with the vibrating structures of the micro-mechanical resonators. Working at microscale, researchers must create a small cavity on top of the electronics to achieve a hermetic environment that will seal out damaging moisture.

A key to ASP packaging will be advanced organic materials that possess low signal-loss properties and are strong and semi-hermetic. Working with Prof. Paul Kohl of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ayazi will use specially-tailored polymers to develop an effective package for the filter arrays.

“The combination of all these elements will eventually produce an array of highly improved tunable filters,” Ayazi said. “We are basically looking for orders of magnitude improvement in performance, size and cost. The ultimate goal is to integrate ASP’s with high-speed electronics on a single chip and bring unprecedented capabilities to the wireless world.”

11:03 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: cognitive radio, asp, gedc, cr, rf, cmmt, bae systems, darpa, mems, baw resonators, wireless |  Facebook |


Reconfigurable Radio Using Software Technologies

If you want to learn more over reconfigurable Radio using Software Techniques you can visit the following interesting website:





The role of radio in the telecommunication systems have extended from simple radio telephone to mobile communications and beyond. Minimization/replacement of hardware in communication technologies through software has resulted in the birth of new technology, widely known as Software-Defined Radio (SDR). This has come with the challenges to replace the functioning of hardware components by the software on a single chip like DSPs, ASICs, or FPGAs with high speed of operations. The depth of digitization in the radio communication engineering up to the RF front-end from the baseband is stated as an Ideal software radio. In this paper we cover the basic radio communication architecture, SDR architecture, technological challenges and applications.


12:46 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: rf, sdr, fpga, dsp, software |  Facebook |


NI Announces LabVIEW FPGA Digital and Communications System Design Pioneer Programs

Pioneer Devices Deliver Unprecedented Flexibility for Software-Reconfigurable Hardware

    NEWS RELEASE – Nov. 13, 2006 – National Instruments today announced pioneer programs for two new devices based on the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module, giving engineers and researchers early access to technology for digital and communications system design. Engineers now can use LabVIEW FPGA to write custom software for each device’s FPGA to prototype and test emerging standards or create custom protocols. With FPGA technology, engineers can repeatedly reconfigure hardware performance through software to meet next-generation requirements, which is a new approach to system design.

    “Virtual instrumentation revolutionized the test and measurement industry,” said Dr. James Truchard, NI president and CEO. “Graphical system design now raises the bar by supporting heterogeneous multiprocessing with combinations of multicore PCs and FPGAs. The communications pioneer program provides capabilities for building high-performance RF and communications test systems, while the digital pioneer program provides capabilities for a new generation of FPGA-based digital test systems.”

    high-speed digital test pioneer device features the largest LabVIEW FPGA target to date. The product has four high-speed serial I/O lines up to 3.125 Gb/s and 24 general-purpose digital I/O lines up to 400 Mb/s. The PXI Express-based module offers a x4 connector for throughput rates up to 1 GB/s, ideal for streaming applications. The digital pioneer device extends the capabilities of the company’s current high-speed digital devices beyond 200 MHz clock rates to empower engineers to interface to DVI, HDMI, SATA, IEEE 1394 and other high-speed digital protocols requiring high throughput. The digital pioneer program includes the new high-speed digital device, a PXI Express chassis and controller, LabVIEW 8.20 Professional Edition and the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

    communications pioneer device is a PCI board with two 14-bit IF input channels at 100 MS/s and two 14-bit IF output channels at 200 MS/s. The device features a LabVIEW FPGA target, making it ideal for software-defined radio and RFID applications. Engineers and researchers can perform digital upconversion and digital downconversion in hardware to alleviate bus bandwidth requirements and perform custom pulse shaping while still leaving the FPGA free for user-defined processing. The communications pioneer program includes the new communications device, LabVIEW, the LabVIEW FPGA Module and the Modulation Toolkit for LabVIEW.

    Through NI pioneer programs, engineers can preview technology before it is released to help with the design and functionality of the product. Readers can find out more about the new digital pioneer program by visiting
    www.ni.com/highspeeddigitalio/pioneer. Readers can learn more about the communications pioneer program by visiting www.ni.com/rf/pioneer.

    About National Instruments
    For 30 years, National Instruments (
    www.ni.com) has been a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging PCs and commercial technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for test, control and design applications through easy-to-integrate software, such as NI LabVIEW, and modular measurement and control hardware for PXI, PCI, PCI Express, PXI Express, USB and Ethernet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has 4,000 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past seven years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.


22:12 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: fpga, dsp, labview, sdr, actel, rf |  Facebook |