The first digital radio transmitter has been constructed using microprocessor technologies

ElectronicJuly 5, 2015
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For the first time in the history of radio engineering, there was created a fully digital radio transmitter which is not using traditional analog elements and schemes that generate high-frequency radio waves only by means of the digital integrated schemes operated by a set of specialized patented algorithms. In the near future, advanced technology can bring breakthrough in the field of a radio communication, mobile 5G-communications and give support to a number of small-sized multipurpose devices which are a part of the so-called Internet of Things.

The value of this achievement cannot be underestimated, each aspect of generation of high-frequency radio waves is made only by means of sequence of bits and bytes operation. In the created transmitter there are no analog schemes, any filters, condensers, coils of inductance and other components which are found in traditional radio transmitters. The new transmitter which received the name Pizzicato consists of a small handful of usual components, including some digital integrated schemes, microprocessor and antenna.

The Pizzicato transmitter created by the specialists of the Cambridge Consultants company already passed enough extensive tests, having shown full compliance to a wide number of technical requirements. Besides the use of digital technologies that allows reducing transmitter dimensions to microprocessor level with a small binding, such approach assumes possibility of dynamic management of an operating mode of the device in real time that will provide more effective use of available radio-frequency ranges.

“During the very initial tests of the transmitter, with its help we organized 14 independent channels of a cellular communication base station” – says Monty Barlow, the head of wireless technologies department in a Cambridge Consultants company, – “This all shows the fascinating potential capable to change a lot of areas in which wireless information transfer is used. And, besides, creation of the Pizzicato transmitter is completely covered by Gordon Moore’s law defining depreciation, the sizes and power consumption with each new generation of the production technology of silicon semiconductors”.

It should be noted that the increase in efficiency of the wireless systems using rather loaded ranges of a radio-frequency range can be realized by means of abilities of devices to make the analysis in real time and to switch the settings, instantly reacting to the smallest changes. But, realization of such intellectual radio systems by means of traditional analog technologies is connected with many difficulties, and use of microprocessor technologies and program control will allow simplifying the creation of such systems as much as possible. Besides, digital technologies can open access to effective use of more low-frequency, less than 1 GHz, part of a radio spectrum which is used now no more, than only 10 percent.

“In the future each mobile phone needs to have an opportunity of access to a high-speed broadband network. And for this purpose a large number of the tiny, highly effective and low-consuming radio transmitters will be required” – Monty Barlow says, – “Which will be impossible to reach by means of usual analog methods. According to the program, only digital program control by generation of signals will allow making practically any combination of the signals transmitted at the different bearing frequencies dynamically to adapt to any changes in conditions and to do many other things that cannot be received by means of usual analog technologies”.

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