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The MathWorks supports the SDR Forum Smart Radio Challenge for students

11 April 2006

The MathWorks today announced it will provide extensive support to students participating in the SDR Forum ( Radio Challenge, a worldwide student competition that challenges future engineers to develop next-generation wireless technology. As a headline sponsor, The MathWorks will donate funds to the SDR Forum, provide MATLAB and Simulink software, and train and mentor students throughout the competition.

The SDR Forum Smart Radio Challenge is an ongoing worldwide competition that will provide student engineering teams an opportunity to design, develop, and test a software defined radio. Each team will have two years to submit their radios to the competition. Registration for the SDR Forum Smart Radio Challenge opens on May 30, 2006. On December 1, 2006, qualified teams start on the development problem, documentation for which is due September 30, 2007.

The MathWorks will mentor student teams through the first year of the Smart Radio Challenge and offer product training classes at the SDR Forum conference in November 2006. In addition, the company will provide students with access to the MATLAB® and Simulink® product families to execute the modelling and design aspects of the challenge.

Part of the assessment criteria at the end of the development phase is the maturity of design process. At this phase, The MathWorks will help students streamline development to create significantly simpler and more robust designs by introducing the concept of Model-Based Design, and helping students apply it with MATLAB and Simulink. Model-Based Design allows engineers to use mathematical models to specify and simulate system behaviour, design hardware and software components, generate code for prototyping and implementation, and verify the implementation against a validated system model. Through the use of Model-Based Design, wireless communications engineers can use higher levels of abstraction to achieve the software portability and development efficiency required for software defined radio applications.

The SDR Forum supports the development and deployment of software defined radio systems that enable flexible and adaptable architectures in advanced wireless systems. Software defined radios can be dynamically programmed to support different waveforms, provide new features, improve performance, and deliver new services. With the ability to track and link into locally available unused radio spectrums, SDR allows enhanced communication and coordination across critical response functions such as emergency disaster response, rescue operations, and military missions spread across wide communications ranges.

Academic members of the SDR Forum include universities from Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Spain, and the United States. The competition is open to student teams from all academic institutions interested in SDR and cognitive radio technologies, including non-Forum members. With new teams joining each year, student team submissions will reflect the evolving sophistication of radio technology.

Software Defined Radio is the future of public safety and defence communications,” said Kenneth Karnofsky, marketing director, signal processing and communications, The MathWorks. “We are proud to support the SDR Forum Smart Radio Challenge. We expect that the competition will lead to new innovations in smart radio technology that can serve to avert communications disasters in the face of hurricanes, coordinate security forces globally, and permit effective emergency response anytime and anywhere. In the process, a new generation of engineers will become proficient in applying Model-Based Design to solving the most demanding problems in communications engineering.”

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