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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Software-Defined Radio—Basics and Evolution to Cognitive Radio

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20052005:652784

  • Received: 24 February 2005
  • Published:


We provide a brief overview over the development of software-defined or reconfigurable radio systems. The need for software-defined radios is underlined and the most important notions used for such reconfigurable transceivers are thoroughly defined. The role of standards in radio development is emphasized and the usage of transmission mode parameters in the construction of software-defined radios is described. The software communications architecture is introduced as an example for a framework that allows an object-oriented development of software-defined radios. Cognitive radios are introduced as the next step in radio systems' evolution. The need for cognitive radios is exemplified by a comparison of present and advanced spectrum management strategies.


  • software-defined radio
  • reconfigurable transceiver
  • mobile communication standards
  • cognitive radio
  • advanced spectrum management

Authors’ Affiliations

Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Karlsruhe, D-76128, Germany


© Friedrich K. Jondral 2005

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.