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Middleware Matters

We just announced today that our partner Communications Research Centre successfully ported an entire software defined radio, including the core framework and full waveform, to an Android handset.

This SDR was based on the JTRS Software Communications Architecture, which uses CORBA as the communications framework. There's been some talk recently that CORBA might not be suitable for smaller form factor radios. That might be true for a lot of enterprise-type ORBs, that are relatively big, slow and cumbersome. ORBexpress, however, was built from the ground up for hard real-time and embedded systems. We always knew that ORBexpress would be ideal for very small form factor radios, but until we could demonstrate it in practice it just was a difference of opinion.

That's why we are so delighted in what CRC has accomplished. They ported a full core framework, a full waveform (with all the modulation and demodulation, etc., running on the Android platform) and the entire radio in just one day. Because OIS had already done all of the hard work in porting ORBexpress to the Android platform, their port of their SDR application went smoothly and without a hitch.

All of this ran smoothly, with long battery life, on a single core ARM processor. That's right - no DSP, no FPGA, just a GPP. This successful test demonstrates the power of the portability of the SCA. By using a standards-based communications framework like ORBexpress, next generation radios can take advantage of new smaller and lightweight form factors without rewriting their software.

This means new features and new form factors will get to the warfighter faster and more reliably. A win by any measure.