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A new architecture for Software Defined Radios ..

A new architecture for

A new architecture for

A new Architecture For

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i.MX 8M Plus
The star of the show.
Eight ADCs and two DACs running at 12-bit and 153 MSPS, plus 80 GFLOPS of VSPA-2 DSP power.
Infrastructure-level clocking.
47 femto seconds of RMS jitter, 18 outputs and a digitally controlled oscillator for zero-ppm frequency errors.
ARM Cortex-A53 and M7 for real-time applications.
Latest generation NXP processor to foster an ecosystem of onboard applications.
Machined heatsink
A CNC machined heatsink with active dissipation protects the electronics from damage and interference.
RFNM Interface
An I/Q based IF interface allows a variety of daughterboard-specific applications.
The motherboard connects directly to a new set of compatible boards.

A well-designed motherboard

The RFNM Daughterboard Interface

The RFNM Daughterboard Interface 2x Hirose 100-Pin connectors bringing 4x ADC and 2x DAC lines to each daughter board, plus dedicated I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, GPIOs and our custom timing interface.
We are calling it the RFNM Interface. Click here for a pinout.

User Interface Connector

User Interface Connector Connect your external Device Under Test using simple 3.3V, 2.54" pin headers. Talk UART or I2C to the onboard processors, use the GPIOs or the programmable, differential clock output.

2x USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, 1 Gbps Ethernet

2x USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, 1 Gbps Ethernet Use the power of the i.MX processor for standalone applications, such as a portable spectrum analyzer with HDMI output and USB keyboard, or connect through the USB-C PD port to a host computer. Need remote operation? The ethernet port and auxiliary power input have your back.

Reference Clock In/Out

Reference Clock In/Out Use the Si5510 to generate clocks up to 3.2 GHz, or feed your lab's reference to it.

OCXO Option

OCXO Option RFNM's frequency reference can be tuned to one ppb accuracy by listening to a nearby cell tower. However, if you still require an OCXO, a well-designed, hand-solderable footprint is there for you.

A new ecosystem of compatible boards

Thanks to the incredible silicon in the motherboard and the RFNM Interface, a wide range of applications can be implemented with daughterboards.


The Lime Microsystems LMS7002 chip has an analog I/Q interface we are using for this daughterboard. It covers 10 to 3800 MHz.
Docs Page.


The main RFIC is the Granita from Arctic Semiconductor, which is natively capable of tuning from 600 to 6300 MHz. Our board extends this frequency range down to 10 MHz with the addition of a RFFC2071A mixer.
Docs Page.

IceWings [concept stage]

IceWings [concept stage]
The same chip as our Granita board can be used to build a 4x coherent receiver in the 600-6300 MHz band. With two such daughterboards, the configuration can be up to 8x channels.

Oscilloscope [concept stage]

Oscilloscope [concept stage]
By designing a simple oscilloscope frontend board, we can turn RFNM into a 4-channel, 50 MHz (3x oversampling) USB oscilloscope. When paired with a RF board, it becomes a mixed-signal analyzer.

Breakout Board

Breakout Board
Useful for development, this inexpensive board exposes every single connection in the RFNM Interface.
Docs Page.


USB Streamable Bandwidth
  • 12 bit @ 122 MHz (1 cable), 160+ MHz (2 cables)
Total Real Time Bandwidth
  • 612 MHz (Receiver), 153 MHz (Transmitter)
Resolution, Speed
  • 12 bit, 153 MSPS
Analog to Digital Converters
  • 8 lanes (four I/Q pairs)
Digital to Analog Converters
  • 2 lanes (one I/Q pair)
DSP Core
  • VSPA 2 @ 614MHz, 80 GFLOP
DSP FFT Engine
  • Real Time FFT, up to 4k bins
Phase Noise
  • -145 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset
  • 47 fs typical RMS jitter
Digitally Controlled Oscillator
  • Tunable to 1 part-per-trillion
Frequency Offset Accuracy
  • Referenced from the LTE Network
Local Frequency Standard
  • Arbitrary Frequency In/Out
Multiple Devices Sync
  • Pulse Per Second In/Out
Main Processor
  • 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.6 GHz
Real Time Processor
  • Cortex-M7 @ 800 MHz
Graphics Processing Unit
  • 16 GFLOPS, OpenGL/CL, Vulkan
  • 2x USB 3.0, 5 Gbps
  • 1 Gbps, Time Sensitive Networking

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