Tektronix and Virginia Tech Drive Software Defined Radio Test Bed

10/20/2004 - Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE: TEK), a leading worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, announced its participation with the Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) at Virginia Tech in the development of a Software Defined Radio (SDR) test bed and Open Source SCA (Software Communications Architecture) Implementation: Embedded (OSSIE). Tektronix will deliver test and measurement equipment to be integrated within the OSSIE test-bed framework and help to define and validate future test systems and methodologies that will meet the needs of commercial and military/government customers looking to leverage SDR.

SCA provides a framework developed in response to the U.S. government's need to have a common SDR definition that would enable any company to write any waveform onto any radio to support multiband-multimode radios, global roaming, runtime reconfigurability, and over-the-air-programming. The SCA framework is helping to overcome a significant barrier to entry into software-radio research experienced in previous years. The military, which is a driving force behind software-defined radio, has mandated that any radio developed for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program of the Department of Defense (DOD) must be implemented in the SCA environment. The objective for OSSIE is to provide a platform that is simple, easy to expand, and an open-source for the development of waveforms following the guidelines laid down by the SCA specifications under the JTRS program as well as the Object Management Group (OMG).

SDR is not only able to operate in multiple bands but has been developed to support multiple standards using a reconfigurable hardware and software platform specifically designed to address potential issues that arise with the deployment of new wireless communications standards. While code portability through SCA is progressing, the processing hardware underneath faces significant challenges arising from changing, multiplying and ever higher rate wireless interfaces. Test and measurement equipment are fundamentally important to prove the SDR concept and to successfully design SDR capable hardware platforms.

"Since the first release of the OSSIE test bed in July, the usage and acceptance by the community has exceeded our expectations. As an emerging market, SDR is, and will continue to change the future of wireless. Its impact will be felt in the commercial world as well as defense and government sectors," said Dr. Jeff Reed, Professor and Deputy Director, Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) at Virginia Tech. "The emergence and convergence of many technologies and standards requires comprehensive testing to ensure proper operation of SDR. Tektronix' equipment provides a pivotal role in the OSSIE test-bed by integrating analysis and measurement instrumentation that supports the broadest range of industry standards." OSSIE is open source and can be downloaded with documentation.

Test & Measurement Equipment Provides Validation for SDR Operation
As part of the SCA framework, Tektronix' test equipment will be implemented to provide an integrated solution for SDR test and validation. By integrating Tektronix' test equipment into the same framework that manages SDR operation, the test equipment becomes an integrated resource to analyze and verify the correct operation of future software radios. This approach not only provides an easy, flexible way to validate SDR operation, but also allows for a modular design strategy that supports many emerging standards such as HSDPA and DVB-H. There are two key Tektronix products currently integrated into the OSSIE test bed:

"Virginia Tech is one of the nation's premier academic institutions and MPRG is one of the nation's leading projects in the wireless communications field. We're honored to be working side by side with Virginia Tech on this initiative," said Rich McBee, Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Service and Marketing at Tektronix, Inc. "With the SCA, the promise exists for a de facto middleware standard for both defense and commercial radios. Our products integrated in the OSSIE test bed will enable superior test and validation of SDR designs helping to drive the future of wireless communications."

About Virginia Tech - Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group
The Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) at Virginia Tech was founded in 1990 to conduct research on emerging wireless communications technologies. It has developed into one of the nation's premier academic programs in the wireless communications field. MPRG is known for its development of SDR hardware, software and systems analysis and participates with the SDR Forum and OMG on SDR standardization activities. MPRG's web address is www.mprg.org.

About Tektronix
Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With more than 55 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and advanced technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in 19 countries worldwide. Tektronix' Web address is www.tektronix.com.

Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc.

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