Software-defined radios (SDRs) are the most fundamental tool needed by wireless research engineers. They are as fundamental as computers are to computer engineers, or pianos are to pianists. Yet, a vast majority of wireless research engineers (especially in academia) do not have access to affordable and bleeding-edge SDRs. These problems are most severe in the mmWave bands that will, quite simply, dominate the wireless research world for the next 10 years. This lack of affordable and advanced SDRs is stymieing not only fundamental wireless research, but also its translation into ecosystems that will drive tomorrow's economy: next-generation cellular, robotics, self-driving vehicles, and AR/VR.
Pi-Radio's vision is to democratize wireless research by providing advanced mmWave SDRs to the community at plainly affordable price points. Pi-Radio's v1 SDR product features a 4-channel fully-digital transceiver that operates in the 57-64 GHz band. Fully-digital (a.k.a. MIMO) transceiver architectures enable multiple simultaneous TX/RX beams, standing in stark contrast with phased arrays that feature analog beamformers (and therefore only one beam). This opens up a whole set of exciting research problems to work on, across virtually every layer of the protocol stack.
Simply put, the wireless research ecosystem needs more real-world experimentation. We are doing researchers a grand disservice if they are forced to stop at simulations, without the possibility of actually implementing and testing their inventions over-the-air. Join us, let us make the change that this ecosystem has been demanding for so many years now.
Pi-Radio is a spin-off supported by the New York State Center for Advanced Technologies in Telecommunications (CATT) located in the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. Pi-Radio has been funded by the NSF STTR and the ARMY STTR programs. Early developmental efforts have been supported by NIST.