Software-defined Radio

From the NYTimes:

Vanu Inc., is a prominent innovator in the effort to use software rather than hardware to control how radios, cellphones and all other wireless communications devices recognize and manage signals. Early versions of the technology, known as software-defined radio, are beginning to be deployed in military communications equipment and cellular base stations.

The goal is to develop software and related components that recognize various wave forms at any frequency in the radio spectrum and choose the appropriate applications to process them. A single device could provide cellphone service no matter what the format or frequency, exchange wireless messages with laptop or hand-held computers, and communicate with walkie-talkies or emergency services.

There is another potential benefit: being able to incorporate improved data speeds and features simply by downloading software, rather than replacing the customer’s hardware or the company’s network equipment.

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