LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite Overview

Publish Date: Dec 08, 2014 | 2 Ratings | 3.00 out of 5 | Print


Today’s communications infrastructure is unable to keep pace with demand as individuals and businesses alike are increasingly connecting more devices and transferring more data than ever. Beyond the need for greater bandwidth, new design constraints including security, coexistence, and power consumption are emerging. Researchers and scientists are hard at work on innovative algorithms to address these challenges. However, based on existing development tools, there is a critical gap in prototyping new ideas from a lack of approachable, productive design environments that also enable access to hardware. There is a strong, escalating demand for design tools that can enable rapid prototyping.

To prototype new designs, communications designers have standardized on software-defined radio (SDR) platforms, as these hardware devices offer tremendous flexibility. Unfortunately, programming the processor and FPGA on modern SDRs demands different specializations and different tools. Design teams tend to be larger, design cycles are longer and costlier, and the overall prototyping process isn’t smooth or iterative. This fundamental inability to easily bring new designs to modern SDRs accounts for the critical gap in prototyping. Read below to see how LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite streamlines communications prototyping.

Table of Contents

  1. Unified Design Flow
  2. Flexible, Efficient Design
  3. Comprehensive System Design Tool

1. Unified Design Flow

LabVIEW Communications single, cohesive environment enables users to program both the processor and FPGA. It also scales across multiple SDR systems so you can define and manage an entire prototype solution with a single design tool, and rapidly deploy new algorithms to hardware. 

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In addition to providing easy access to processors and FPGAs, LabVIEW Communications delivers unprecedented hardware integration with SystemDesigner. SystemDesigner provides a graphical hardware representation of your SDR hardware, and can be used to validate system setup, access system documentation, and partition and deploy algorithms. 

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2. Flexible, Efficient Design

With LabVIEW Communications, you can choose between a variety of approaches for defining algorithms on the processor and on the FPGA. To ease the transition from existing algorithm design tools, LabVIEW Communications offers rich text nodes with syntax highlighting, function completion, function documentation, and more for C and .M. Developers can easily pull in existing work to further expedite the prototyping process. 

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For prototypes that need the real-time processing that FPGAs provide, LabVIEW Communications offers powerful algorithm design languages that can be directly compiled to the FPGA based on system requirements.

Learn more about what the advanced compiler enables

To address another bottleneck in the typical design process for new communications algorithms, you can rely on the built-in data-driven floating point to fixed point conversion utility found in LabVIEW Communications. This utility provides recommendations on fixed point types and reports how much the fixed point design deviates from the floating point original. 

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As an additional productivity boost, you can rely on the Application Frameworks that plug into LabVIEW Communications to provide a LTE and 802.11 software implementations. These standards-based implementations can be directly modified to encode new algorithms that require similar infrastructure. Instead of having to spend time building harnesses around the algorithms, you can instead leverage the application frameworks to focus your innovation and work on the specific research vectors. 

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3. Comprehensive System Design Tool

LabVIEW Communications also enables you to create rich, custom user interfaces on a drag-and-drop canvas to interact with your designs. Instead of relying solely on command line interfaces, you can more intuitively understand the parameters to an algorithm by easily creating custom graphical user interfaces. 

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LabVIEW Communications offers a more efficient, integrated approach to prototyping new designs with SDR hardware. To help you master the capabilities of this design tool, LabVIEW Communications has context- aware help and guided learning systems built-in so that you can better leverage the available features to build more accurate and complex prototypes. From the basics of the environment to advanced FPGA topics, the guided help lessons provide a solid foundation. 

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Lastly, go beyond the tool and connect with others to share design best practices, code examples and more on the online community.

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LabVIEW Communications provides the fastest path from design to prototype. The hardware integration to NI SDR hardware combined with flexible software design approaches and a workflow that is focused on traceable, iterative refinement make for a remarkably productive tool that accelerates innovation.

Next Steps

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Learn more about LabVIEW Communications 

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