Embedded Series Product Guide

Artificial Intelligence Radio Transceiver (AIR-T)

The Artificial Intelligence Radio Transceiver (AIR-T) is a high-performance software-defined radio (SDR) seamlessly integrated with state-of-the-art processing and deep learning inference hardware. The incorporation of an embedded graphics processing unit (GPU) enables real-time wideband digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms to be executed in software, without requiring specialized field programmable gate array (FPGA) firmware development. The GPU is the most utilized processor for machine learning, therefore the AIR-T significantly reduces the barrier for engineers to create autonomous signal identification, interference mitigation, and many other machine learning applications. By granting the deep learning algorithm full control over the transceiver system, the AIR-T allows for fully autonomous software defined and cognitive radio.

Out of the box, the AIR-T is a fully functioning SDR that includes numerous examples and open source APIs. The system includes AirStack, the AIR-T’s complete software package. AirStack consists of the Ubuntu operating system, drivers, FPGA firmware, and everything required for AIR-T operation.

Artificial Intelligence Radio Transceiver

Artificial Intelligence Radio Transceiver

Manufacturer Part Numbers

AIR-T Model GPU FPGA Part Number
(Board Only)
Part Number
(with Enclosure)
AIR7101 NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Xilinx Artix7 75T AIR7101-A AIR7101-B
AIR7201 NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Xilinx Artix7 200T AIR7201-A AIR7201-B

Document Overview

This document lists the specifications for the Artificial Intelligence Radio Transceiver (AIR-T). Specifications are subject to change without notice. For the most recent device specifications, refer to http://docs.deepwavedigital.com.

AIR-T Functional Diagram

AIR-T Functional Block Diagram

AIR-T Enclosure

The AIR-T may be purchased with or without an enclosure. This documentation applies to both configurations.

AIR-T Enclosure

AIR-T Enclosure

Mechanical Drawing

We provide a pdf file with the mechanical dimensions of the AIR-T enclosure below.

AIR-T Mechanical Drawing

Processors

The AIR-T enables software defined radio for any signal processing application by utilizing three classes of tightly coupled processors: * FPGA for strict real-time operations * GPU for highly parallel processing and machine learning * CPU for control, I/O, DSP, and software applications

General Purpose Processors

The AIR-T leverages the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 System On Module (SOM) as its General Purpose Processors (GPP). The Jetson TX2 SOM contains two ARM processors (6 cores total), an NVIDIA Pascal GPU (256 cores), and 8 GBytes of memory. The CPUs and GPU all share a common pool of memory, which (along with a unified memory architecture) allows for a zero-copy capability. As illustrated in the figure below, zero-copy eliminates the host-to-devices (or device-to-host) memory transfer that is required by SDRs with discrete GPUs, such as an SDR connected to an external laptop or computer. Because of this, an SDR with a discrete GPU will have increased latency that is prohibitive for many applications. The AIR-T leverages zero-copy to remove this extra data transfer to enable a wide-range of SDR applications.

 

Comparison of a) traditional memory architecture with b) AIR-T unified memory architecture

 

For additional details on the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 please see the module datasheet URL below. Some of the information from that datasheet is produced below.

http://developer.nvidia.com/embedded/dlc/jetson-tx2-series-modules-data-sheet

 

Table 1
Manufacturer NVIDIA Corporation
Model NVIDIA Jetson TX2 (GPU / CPU)
Packaging System on Module (SOM)
GPU Type NVIDIA Pascal GPU architecture with 256 NVIDIA CUDA cores
CPU Type ARMv8 (64-bit) heterogeneous multi-processing CPU architecture with two CPU clusters (6 processor cores) connected by a coherent interconnect fabric.

ARM Cortex -A57 MPCore (Quad-Core) Processor:
  • 2.0 GHz
  • L1 Cache: 48KB L1 instruction cache (I-cache) per core, 32KB L1 data cache (D-cache) per core
  • L2 Unified Cache: 2MB
NVIDIA Denver 2 (Dual-Core) Processor:
  • 2.0 GHz
  • L1 Cache: 128KB L1 instruction cache (I-cache) per core, 64KB L1 data cache (D-cache) per core
  • L2 Unified Cache: 2MB
Unified Memory
(GPU/CPU shared)
  • Capacity: 8 GB
  • Type: 128-bit (4ch x 32-bit) LPDDR4 Memory
  • Bus Frequency: 1866 MHz (59.7 GB/s)
Storage Capacity 32GB eMMC 5.1 Flash Storage

Reconfigurable FPGA

The FPGA on the AIR-T comes pre-loaded with the AirStack firmware to support transmit and receive functionality. Customers may choose to load custom firmware if needed by their application. Details regarding the FPGA on the AIR-T are shown below.

Table 2 AIR7101 AIR7201
Manufacturer Xilinx Xilinx
Family Artix-7 Artix-7
Model XC7A75T-2FGG676C XC7A200T-2FBG676I
LUTs 75,520 215,360.
DSP48E1 Slices 180 740
Embedded Block RAM 3.78 kbits 13.14 kbits
Default Time Base 62.5 MHz or 125 MHz 62.5 MHz or 125 MHz
Flash Memory (non-volatile) 256Mb 256Mb

Networking

Table 3
Ethernet 10/100/1000 BASE-T, RJ-45 connector
WLAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band 2x2 MIMO (Maximum transfer rate 866.7Mbps)
Bluetooth Version 4.1

External Display

Table 4
HDMI 2.0 a/b Up to 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz (4k)

Peripheral Interfaces

NVIDIA Jetson TX2

Table 5
SATA Version 3.1
SD Card SD 3.0 or SD-XC cards up to 2 TB
USB USB 3.0 Super Speed mode (up to 5Gb/s)
USB 2.0 High Speed mode (up to 480Mb/s), USB On-The-Go
UART See NVIDIA Jetson TX2 datasheet for information
GPIO See NVIDIA Jetson TX2 datasheet for information
SPI See NVIDIA Jetson TX2 datasheet for information
I2C See NVIDIA Jetson TX2 datasheet for information
Audio I2S or Digital. See NVIDIA Jetson TX2 datasheet for information

Xilinx FPGA

Table 6
JTAG Programmable via JTAG or Digilent USB to JTAG converter
XADC Integrated Analog with Digital Customization for the FPGA
Digital I/O GPIO, SPI
UART USB to UART bridge

Analog Devices 9371

Table 7
GPIO System monitoring and external attenuator control

Transceiver

Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit

The Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) on the AIR-T is the Analog Devices AD9371. For additional details on the AD9371 please see that datasheet:

AD9371 Datasheet

Table 8
Manufacturer Analog Devices
Model AD9371
Frequency Conversion Type Direct conversion

Receiver Specifications

Table 9
Number of Channels 2 (LO shared)
Sample Rates 125 MSPS,
62.5 MSPS,
31.25 MSPS,
15.625 MSPS,
7.8125 MSPS
Maximum Bandwidth 100 MHz
Frequency Tuning Range 300 MHz to 6 GHz (no daughter card)
Power Level Control Automatic Gain Control (AGC) up to 30 dB attenuation,
Manual gain control 0 to 30 dB attenuation in 0.5 dB increments
Maximum Input Power -15 dBm (no AGC), 15 dBm (w/ AGC)
ADC Resolution 16 bits
Built-in Calibrations Quadrature Error Correction, DC offset correction
Local Oscillator Internal (built-in) or external
Auxiliary Channels1 Sniffer, Observation

Transmitter Specification

Table 10
Transmit Channels 2 (LO shared)
Sample Rates 125 MSPS,
62.5 MSPS,
31.25 MSPS,
15.625 MSPS,
7.8125 MSPS
Maximum Bandwidth 100 MHz
Frequency Tuning Range 300 MHz to 6 GHz (no daughter card)
Power Level Control Transmit Power Control (TPC) up to 42 dB attenuation
Manual gain control
Maximum Output Power +6 dBm
DAC Resolution 14 bits
Built-in Calibrations Quadrature Error Correction, LO leakage correction
Local Oscillator Internal (built-in) or external

Internal Reference Clock

Table 11
Clock distribution part number AD9528
Oscillator Type VCXO
Oscillator Model Crystek Corporation CVHD-950-125M
Oscillator Frequency 125 MHz
Frequency Pull Range ± 20 ppm

External Reference Clock

The AIR-T will phase lock to an external 10 MHz reference signal.

Table 12
Number of Channels 1
Connector Type MCX (Board), SMA (Enclosure)
Frequency 10 MHz
Input Voltage Rating 3.3V CMOS
Absolute Maximum Voltage 3.45 Volts (50 Ohm Terminated)

Power

Table 13
Input Voltage Range 8-15 VDC
Typical Standby Power Consumption 9.3 W
Recommended Power Supply 80 W, 12 VDC

Physical

Table 14
Form Factor (no enclosure) Mini-ITX
Dimensions (no enclosure) 170 × 170 x 35 mm (6.7" × 6.7" x 1.4")
Weight (no enclosure) 0.35 kg (0.8 lbs)

Proper Handling

The AIR-T is a printed circuit board with many exposed conductors. It is essential that no conductive material be left near or in contact with the system.

Best practices include using an anti-static mat and other ESD procedures when handling sensitive electronic equipment, including low humidity and not exposing the radio to liquids.

During the calibration procedure that is run when the radio is initialized, calibration signals may be emitted from both the TX and RX ports. To ensure that connected equipment is not damaged, it is recommended to disconnect the AIR-T from any equipment and terminate with 50 Ohms during the radio initialization.

AirStack Software

The AIR-T comes pre-loaded with a full software stack, AirStack. AirStack includes all the components necessary to utilize the AIR-T, such as an Ubuntu based operating system, AIR-T specific device drivers, and the FPGA firmware. The operating system is based off of the NVIDIA Jetpack and is upgraded regularly. Please check for the latest software at www.deepwavedigital.com.

For a full description of the AirStack interface, see our documentation page here.


Last update: July 29, 2020