Pi-Radio's v1 product is the 4-channel fully-digital transceiver board, which when mated with an off-the-shelf Xilinx RFSoC-based ZCU111, forms a powerful mmWave SDR. This system operates in the 57-64 GHz band, and features ~2 GHz of real-time bandwidth. There are separate TX and RX antennas, each of which is arranged as a 1x4 linear array; the antennas were designed at Aalto University, Finland.
A fully-digital transceiver allows the radio to TX/RX in multiple directions simultaneously. It also allows MIMO experimentation in the mmWave bands.
The simplest way to program the Pi-Radio SDR is using a MATLAB-based non-real-time interface; this enables rapid prototyping, and requires no significant prior knowledge or expertise with FPGA programming. Most wireless researchers simulate their inventions in MATLAB; going from this simulation to an over-the-air experiment on the Pi-Radio system can be done with just 5 extra lines of code.
Advanced users can also program the SDR using Xilinx Vivado, System Generator, or any other tool that can be used with Xilinx FPGAs; this enables real-time operation to prototype systems of fairly advanced complexity. Users can also take advantage of the many benefits of the RFSoC architecture, including the SD-FEC cores, ARM cores, and the flexibilty offered by the PS/PL split.
The Pi-Radio SDR can be used not only for communications research at various layers of the protocol stack, but also for MIMO channel sounding and MIMO radar systems. Being fully-digital, this opens up entire avenues of research that can now be done experimentally. The Pi-Radio SDR system also features large keep-out areas, so that researchers and design and mount their own lens-antenna add-ons to the board, and test them in the real world.
Cost breakdown and links for purchase
Xilinx Zynq® UltraScale+™ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit: $8,999
Pi-Radio Front-End: $20,000 (Academic pricing: $10000)
Setup and training: Depending on your needs. Most academic customers will not need this, since all documentation and source code is publicly available.