NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 O1.03-9430
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Reconfigurable/Reprogrammable Communication Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Cluster Network on a Chip Reconfigurable Radiation Hardened Radio

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Microelectronics Research Development Corporation
4775 Centennial Blvd, Suite 130
Colorado Springs, CO 80919 - 3332
(719) 531-0805

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sasan Ardalan
8102 Menaul Blvd, Ste B
Albuquerque, NM 87110 - 4725
(505) 294-1962

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The objective of the Phase-I research is to architect, model and simulate a multi-cluster Network on a Chip (NoC) reconfigurable Radio in SystemC RTL, with throughput up to 1Gbps. The architecture is based on mapping key Radio DSP operations onto clusters of 2D-Grid networks of primitive computation agents. The primitives in each cluster consists of multiply, accumulate and CORDIC operations. RISC agents and a primary RISC provide for reconfigurability. All agents are individually accessible for testing and configuration. The reconfigurable radio trades throughput for power by turning off primitive agents, using subsets of agents and routing links. Key agents that require SEU immunity for robust operation are identified and registers are implemented with Rad Hard temporal latch technology. The radio is reconfigurable for both beamforming and open-loop MIMO-OFDM operation with variable length FFTs to meet throughput/range requirements. The chip area and power is drastically reduced by maximum reuse of primitive agents by taking advantage of orthogonality between DSP operations. In Phase-II an NoC with support for 4x4 MIMO-OFDM will be synthesized on IBM 90nm process using Rad Hard agents and routing links that can be reconfigured for 4x1,4x2 and 4x4 MIMO-OFDM and single carrier operation, including FPGA emulation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed reconfigurable NoC radio has the advantage that it is based on networks of primitive agents that are arranged in clusters that match the mapping of complex high performance communications signal processing signal flows to the architecture. The key algorithm mapped to the architecture is 4x4 and 4x5 MIMO OFDM systems. Therefore, the system can encompass high throughput demands and at the same time by shutting down primitive agents and their routes the system can scale down power and throughput. In addition, damaged agents can be identified and isolated. This system, therefore, can serve the needs of access points and basestations in the main planetary or lunar lander and at the same time meet the requirements for low power and range of rovers or outposts communicating with the lander. The architecture supports long term operation of the devices with self repair in hazardous conditions. The support for maximum diversity using 4x1 beamforming allows the rover to use a single antenna yet achieve very long range and reduced power. The mapping of MIMO-OFDM with pilot tracking also allows communication through turbulent ionospheric conditions and combating Doppler shift. The system can be deployed in low orbit satellites communicating with planetary landers and rovers and meet the radiation hardening requirements of space born applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The reconfigurable NoC based radio has a huge commercial application and will directly compete with successful array based reconfigurable radios in the MIMO-OFDM basestation market in cellular and MAN and LAN applications. The proposed architecture results in reduced time to tapeout for an enhancement in design to keep up with the high throughput demands of the emerging 3GPP LTE and 4G cellular markets. In particular, the architecture presents a highly adaptable baseband processor for the RF front end so that the device can be upgraded through firmware as progress is made in the RF front end, or as more receive and transmit chains are added. The fact that a single chip can serve both the requirements of the basestation and the mobile subscriber is a huge plus in the cellular and WAN/LAN market and it drives up demand and volume for the device. Radiation hardening also opens up opportunities in satellite broadcasting which also use MIMO OFDM technology.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Architectures and Networks
Computer System Architectures
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Software Development Environments
Ultra-High Density/Low Power

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56