GPU Integration into a Software Defined Radio Framework

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Millage, Joel
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Joseph A. Zambreno
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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Software Defined Radio (SDR) was brought about by moving processing done on specific hardware components to reconfigurable software. Hardware components like General Purpose Processors (GPPs), Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are used to make the software and hardware processing of the radio more portable and as efficient as possible. Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) designed years ago for video rendering, are now finding new uses in research. The parallel architecture provided by the GPU gives developers the ability to speed up the performance of computationally intense programs. An open source tool for SDR, Open Source Software Communications Architecture (SCA) Implementation: Embedded (OSSIE), is a free waveform development environment for any developer who wants to experiment with SDR. In this work, OSSIE is integrated with a GPU computing framework to show how performance improvement can be gained from GPU parallelization. GPU research performed with SDR encompasses improving SDR simulations to implementing specific wireless protocols. In this thesis, we are aiming to show performance improvement within an SCA architected SDR implementation. The software components within OSSIE gained significant performance increases with little software changes due to the natural parallelism of the GPU, using Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), Nvidia's GPU programming API. Using sample data sizes for the I and Q channel inputs, performance improvements were seen in as little as 512 samples when using the GPU optimized version of OSSIE. As the sample size increased, the CUDA performance improved as well. Porting OSSIE components onto the CUDA architecture showed that improved performance can be seen in SDR related software through the use of GPU technology.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010