PicoZed SDR (Software Defined Radio) System-on-Module Supports 70 MHz to 6.0 GHz Frequency Bands

PicoZed SoM based on Xilinx Zynq-7000 series SoCs was introduced in 2014  by Avnet. The company has now introduced a new version specifically designed for software designed radios which combines Zynq-7035 SoC with Analog Devices AD9361 RF transceiver supporting 70 MHz to 6.0 GHz frequency bands. Target applications include portable agile wireless communications, P25 public safety Radio, point-to-point communication, femtocell & picocell base stations and portable instrumentation.

PicoZed SDR SoM (Click to Enlarge)
PicoZed SDR SoM (Click to Enlarge)

PicoZed SDR SoM specifications:

  • SoC – Xilinx Zynq XC7Z035-2L FBG676I AP SoC with a dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 800 MHz and Kintex-7 FPGA with 275K logic cells
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • Storage – 256Mb QSPI Flash, microSD Card Interface
  • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000 Ethernet PHY
  • USB – USB 2.0 OTG ULPI PHY
  • I/Os – 205+ User I/O + 4 GTX channels
  • Radio Transceiver – Analog Devices AD9361-BBCZ integrated RF Agile Transceiver with:
    • 2 × 2 RF transceiver with integrated 12-bit DACs and ADCs
    • 70 MHz to 6.0 GHz Band
    • TDD and FDD operation
    • Tunable channel bandwidth – <200 kHz to 56 MHz
    • Supports MIMO radio: < 1 sample
    • sync on both ADC and DAC
    • Miniature RF connectors – 4 TX, 4 RX, 2 TX monitor
  • Voltage regulation and sequencing with power-good failsafe circuits
  • Power and signal interface through 4 micro header connectors
  • Clock and frequency synthesis circuits
  • Dimensions – N/A
PicoZed SDR SoM Block Diagram
PicoZed SDR SoM Block Diagram
The company provides schematics, BoM, HDL, as well as Linux drivers and application software. The module is also supported by MathWorks’ MATLAB and Simulink for Windows or Linux. To speed up development, an evaluation/development kit with the module and a carrier board is also available.
PicoZed SDR and Carrier Board
PicoZed SDR and Carrier Board

PicoZed SDR module sells for $1,095, while PicoZed SDR AD9361 Development Kit goes for $1,799 with a 10 weeks factory lead time. If you are interested in software defined radio, but find the price is a bit steep, there are some cheaper boards like HackRF or bladeRF support about the same frequency bands, with less I/Os and processing power, but now costs around $300 to $400. If you just want to play around with SDR, you could also start with a cheap USB SDR Kit (~$30), which is obviously much more limited are requires a PC or board.

More details about PicoZed SDR SoM can be found on the product page.

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