Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Moderator: tjt7a

Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby tjt7a » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:36 pm

Yes; the Parallella should be able to handle input from a USRP.
What you will find is that the data rate will be limited.
I should make it clear that my current installation is running exclusively on the dual-core Zync. I am working on a method to port blocks to the Epiphany; at that point, I expect considerable speedups.

Sincerely,
Tom
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby Gerald » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:44 pm

should the USRP utilize all 64 cores?

which blocks do you refer to?
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby tjt7a » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:41 pm

The USRP is the source of data for the GNU Radio application. Its the ADC/DAC that samples the RF and produces a stream of samples. These samples are then streamed through a series of GNU Radio DSP "blocks" which do the filtering, decimation, interpolation, FFT, etc. The USRP itself doesn't require much memory as it is a peripheral for I/O.

The GNU Radio application is composed of these Blocks, wich are executed as separate threads, and ideally would reside on the Epiphany cores. Some applications would require all 64 blocks, but I don't expect that to be as common. If we have more than 64 DSP blocks, then we will have multiple threads run on the cores.

Ideally, assuming we have < 64 threads (blocks) in our GNU Radio application, we can map those threads to the Epiphany, and stream the data between cores.

Gerald wrote:should the USRP utilize all 64 cores?

which blocks do you refer to?
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby Gerald » Mon May 13, 2013 4:45 pm

@tjt7a: does it mean you need to port all gnuradio blocks, which are currently written in python or c++ to c, in order to run these blocks or functions inside a block in parallel and make use of all the 64 cores?
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby jeinstei » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:46 pm

I want in on this. With the FPGA fabric (possible SPI communication and driver for GNU radio? custom bus?) and the Epiphany cores, this seems like something that would be amazing as a resource for GNU Radio. In addition to providing support for the Epiphany, it seems like porting the DSP blocks into some form that GNU Radio could use a variable number of DSP Blocks with an interface to some sort of common driver could allow GNU Radio flexibility to use any co-processor anywhere.

Is anyone currently working on this? Is there any repository/developemnt discussions going on? I think that I'm going to need to get involved.
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby Gerald » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:50 am

@tjt7a: whats the status on this? can you post the github repository you are working on?
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby tjt7a » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:50 am

Gerald wrote:@tjt7a: does it mean you need to port all gnuradio blocks, which are currently written in python or c++ to c, in order to run these blocks or functions inside a block in parallel and make use of all the 64 cores?


There are two approaches to this problem that I have found so far. One is to port blocks to the Epiphany SDK, and then use the blocks from the ported libraries. An example of such a port is a CUDA port done by the University of MD, but I can't seem to find their code anymore.

Another is to use OpenCL using Josh's code:
See: https://github.com/guruofquality/grextras/wiki/Opencl
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby tjt7a » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:52 am

I will post the link to a repository as soon as I clean up the code and put it in a public place.

Tom
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby bob.pielock » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:09 am

Any hope in using this for HAM or other SDR applications? I am interested in getting one of these boards: http://www.genesisradio.com.au/G59/
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Re: Installing Gnu Radio on the Parallella

Postby 9600 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:15 am

bob.pielock wrote:Any hope in using this for HAM or other SDR applications? I am interested in getting one of these boards: http://www.genesisradio.com.au/G59/


Nice! I hadn't seen that board before and it looks like a fun kit and pretty good value for money.

SDR is an excellent fit for Parallella.

Tommy Tracy had started working on porting GNU Radio blocks to Epiphany, but I'm not sure how far he got and whether he'll have time to do further work on this. However, he is going to put together a blog post outlining his plan and any progress, which may be helpful for someone else interested in pursuing this. If I remember correctly, Sylvain (tnt) did some work on porting a small DSP library too.

What could make Parallella particularly interesting in the context of amateur radio, is the ability to create a compact and much lower power consumption SDR rig, which would be far better suited to portable use than something PC-based. I'm sure there will be many other uses too.

Cheers,

Andrew
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