Green Hills Platform for Software Defined Radio (SDR)

Platform overview
SDR, Software Defined Radio, SCA, POSIX.1, software component architecture

Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology was created to improve interoperability between different wireless networks, field radios, and devices. SDR technology is comprised of both software and hardware that can be dynamically reconfigured to enable communication between a wide variety of changing communications standards, protocols, and radio links. With this latest SDR technology, you can create multi-mode, multi-band, and multi-functional wireless devices and network equipment that can be dynamically reconfigured, enhanced, and upgraded through software updates and hardware reconfiguration.

The Green Hills Platform for Software Defined Radio delivers a complete, standards-based reference platform for developing and deploying SDR systems ranging from the armed forces Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) to public safety radios as well as commercial small form-factor reconfigurable radios.

Driving forces

In the aftermath of 9/11, the New York City police and fire departments desperately needed to communicate with one another, but the radios that different departments carried could not interoperate. Ensuing reports that highlighted this issue triggered a drive within civil government and homeland defense to upgrade technology and eliminate this problem.

Prior to 9/11, the US military had recognized a similar problem with legacy radio systems used by different armed services branches and started JTRS. JTRS has been a major force behind SDR and is responsible for the creation of the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) Operating Environment (OE) standard.

On the commercial side, wireless providers are attracted to SDR technology because it enables remote upgrading and reconfiguration of handset and base station software with new features and patches, as well as potential interoperability across multiple networks. SDR provides a solution for a broad range of communications and devices used in:

  • cellular base station and handsets
  • commercial and military satellites
  • military radios
  • public safety
  • wireless LAN/WAN
  • aerospace
  • automotive
SCA operating environment

SDR-enabled handsets and network equipment can be dynamically programmed to reconfigure the hardware’s and software’s characteristics by changing the executing communication waveforms. This is achieved by implementing a set of clearly-defined standard APIs that reside on top of a flexible hardware and software platform.

The OE implements a basic set of core services and standardized component interfaces for waveform execution and portability. As defined by the SCA standard, this OE consists of:

  • POSIX conformant operating system (SCA v2.2 and v2.2.2)
  • TCP/IP stack
  • SCA core framework

Green Hills Platform for Software Defined Radio delivers a variety of complete SCA OE solutions that are compliant with the latest POSIX and SCA standards. The Green Hills Platform for SDR also provides integrated, host-based tools for every aspect of development, debugging, optimization, and deployment as well as a variety of integrated hardware platforms. With the Green Hills Platform for SDR, developers can:

  • increase productivity
  • reduce the complexity of system architecture
  • increase end product quality and reliability
  • shorten the product time-to-market

In addition, Green Hills and its SCA OE partners are constantly tracking the future standards and profile directions of the SCA, and plans to continue support for new profiles and standards in the future.

Broad range of support
SDR, Software Defined Radio, SCA, software component architecture, POSIX.1, Green Hills Platform for SDR

Green Hills Software develops its Platform for SDR in conjunction with the leading software and hardware providers in the SDR industry. Our products have been integrated with the broadest range of middleware, toolkits, and hardware reference platforms.

Supported reference platforms

  • Spectrum Signal Processing: SDR-4000 Software Defined Radio Reconfigurable Communications Platform
  • ISR Technologies: IDP100 JTRS Development Kit
  • Lyrtech Signal Processing: Small Form Factor (SFF) SDR Development Platform (SCA and non-SCA)
  • SCA Technica: High Assurance Wireless Computing System (HAWCS™)

Supported SCA Operating Environments and Development Tools

  • The Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC): SCARI Core Framework and Development Tools
  • Harris: dmTK® Core Framework and Development Tools
  • PrismTech: Spectra™ Operating Environment and Development Tools
  • Telelogic: SCA Model-Driven Development (MDD)
  • Zeligsoft: Component Enabler (CE™) SCA Development Tools

Supported CORBA middleware

  • Objective Interface Systems: ORBexpress™
  • PrismTech: Spectra e*ORB
SDR, Software Defined Radio, SCA, software component architecture, POSIX.1, Green Hills Platform for SDR

Green Hills Software's INTEGRITY™ RTOS is the first operating system to be certified to the latest IEEE POSIX.1-2003 specification, building on its mature SCA v2.2 and v2.2.2 API conformance. To date, INTEGRITY has been used on more SDR programs that depend on the SCA v2.2 interface than any other RTOS.

Architected for security, reliability and performance, INTEGRITY provides the most robust foundation available for any SDR platform development. INTEGRITY provides CPU time, memory, and file system resource guarantees for critical radio applications and SDR waveforms. Its brick wall partitioning ensures that applications and waveforms always have the resources needed to run and can not corrupt other applications or waveforms that are executing. INTEGRITY’s virtual device driver support provides the added security and reconfigurability required in SDR devices.

The optional Partitioning Journaling File System (PJFS) extends INTEGRITY’s quality-of-service guarantees into the file system by enabling developers to assign portions of the file system to specific applications and guarantee consistent, deterministic file access for the intended application. INTEGRITY's PJFS protects against unintended file access and corruption from external sources. Finally, the PJFS journaling capabilities ensure complete file system recovery and rapid boot after an unintentional system power loss or system failure.


The INTEGRITY RTOS is tightly integrated with Green Hills Software's MULTI® IDE (integrated development environment). MULTI IDE offers the most comprehensive and powerful toolset for optimizing embedded device development and features the industry’s best optimizing C, C++, EC++, and MISRA C compilers. More silicon manufacturers choose MULTI IDE to run benchmarks certified by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium™ (EEMBC) than any other compiler. These manufacturers know that Green Hills compilers deliver the best optimizations for generating the smallest and fastest code.

MULTI also offers the most extensive source code debugging available with support for both run-mode and freeze-mode. MULTI IDE debugging features include kernel awareness for INTEGRITY, static analysis, performance profiling, code coverage analysis, resource analysis, and event analysis. The optional TimeMachine tool suite pairs with the Green Hills SuperTrace probe to extend MULTI’s debugging capabilities with functions that allow developers to run programs in reverse, and visualize and confirm execution paths. By providing access to program behavior that led up to a problem, TimeMachine can eliminate trial-and-error debugging. INTEGRITY and MULTI are also integrated with industry-leading model-driven development tools supporting UML 2.0.

Networking and security

TCP/IP security and performance are key requirements for SDR devices. Green Hills Software’s networking stacks provide the Platform for SDR with both high-performance throughput and maximum security by delivering a field proven dual-mode IPv4/IPv6 stack that is certified “IPv6 Ready” by Phase-2 of the IPv6 Ready Logo Program and has been through the rigors of TAHI, Moonv6 and IxANVL testing, providing additional product validation and completeness to users.

Security options include SSL, SSH, IPSec, IKE, RADIUS and others. There is also a full line of wireless security available including WPA and WPA2 as well as Mobile IP node support.

Objective Interface Systems ORBexpress

The ORBexpress product family is Objective Interface's high-performance royalty-free implementation of CORBA technology. Optimized for use in the real-time, embedded, and high-performance development environment, the ORBexpress product family combines performance with extreme reliability. From the ground up, ORBexpress has been designed to provide developers with a small footprint ORB, that is also fast, predictable and reliable. With ORBexpress software developers can:

  • simplify the development of distributed software applications
  • build scalable, efficient and robust applications
  • reduce overall development time

To date, an overwhelming majority of JTRS programs have selected ORBexpress. ORBexpress has also been tightly integrated with the INTEGRITY RTOS to take advantage of many of its unique features and provide developers with optimized, high performance transport mechanisms for CORBA communications. In some cases, using INTEGRITY native transport methods resulted in performance increases up to 30x* faster than using standard socket communications.

*note – based on customer measurement

The Communications Research Centre Canada SCARI Software Suite

The SCARI Software Suite from The Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) is a high-performance software solution for SDR waveform development and debug. Fully integrated and tested with INTEGRITY, MULTI and ORBexpress, SCARI consists of three key modules:

  • a full-featured JTRS SCA Core Framework compliant to version 2.2
  • a Component Development Library (CDL) that implements the complex SCA requirements
  • a Development Toolset that greatly simplifies the SDR development life cycle. The toolset supports creating SCA resources and devices, assembling waveforms and platform nodes, and deployment and monitoring of applications.
Harris dmTK

The Harris dmTK toolkit provides both run-time components and off-line support tools for the development and debugging of SCA compliant waveforms. The run time components consist of the Domain Manager (DMRE), its associated Knowledge Base (DMKB), a script utility (DMST), and an Install Service for registering other run time applications in the system.

The Domain Manager tracks state changes and other status of resources throughout system operation. dmTK also includes an off-line support environment for modeling, monitor and control functions, and automation script development.

PrismTech Spectra SDR Tools

PrismTech’s Spectra SDR Tools dramatically raise waveform and platform developer productivity by exploiting MDA and DSL technologies to provide an advanced modeling capability designed specifically for the SDR domain. They also auto-generate, auto-test, and auto-document XML descriptors and infrastructure source code.

Spectra SDR Tools provide a pre-integrated, out-of-the box, standards-based, hardware-independent SDR OE supporting application interoperability and portability across general purpose processors, DSP, and RTL processing elements. No other SDR software platform offers this level of integration and optimization.

Zeligsoft Component Enabler

The Zeligsoft Component Enabler (CE) is a model-driven development tool designed to accelerate development and improve the quality of software defined radios that conform to the JTRS SCA standard. CE serves as the SCA backbone development tool, providing a modeling methodology conforming to the SCA standard and abstracting the complexity and intricacy of the SCA rules away from designers. CE validates against the SCA rules at the architectural level, and generates correct-by-construction artifacts. By adapting to any project environment, and by working with other best-in-class tools, CE ensures that domain specific and non-domain specific software aspects are developed together, integrated early and executed often, dramatically reducing project risk.

Zeligsoft Code Generator works with Zeligsoft CE to provide industrial strength SCA component code generation optimized for a variety of operating environments, development processes and coding patterns. Code Generator supports the INTEGRITY RTOS and MULTI IDE. Code Generator ensures consistency of coding across the project, resulting in high quality, easy to maintain code.

Platform benefits

The Green Hills Platform for Software Defined Radio offers SDR developers a number of key benefits:

  • Dramatic reduction in time to market. By choosing a complete solution, developers can immediately start
    working on waveform development and specific features that differentiate their products in the market. The optional integrated modeling and development tools further reduce time to market, by reducing design and debugging time during product development.
  • A complete set of tightly integrated tools. The tools integrated with the platform encompass the SDR development cycle from design to deployment as well as provide every level of visibility right down to kernel aware source code debugging.
  • Broad hardware, tools, and middleware support. The platform has been integrated and tested on a range of hardware reference platforms targeted at military, public safety and commercial SDR markets and comes with optional SCA based development tools and middleware from industry leading SDR solution providers.
  • Reliability and security. The platform has been integrated and tested by SCA experts and deployed in multiple, successful products. Since the platform is based on INTEGRITY, the applications and waveforms are protected from each other and any intentional or unintentional attacks.
  • Significantly reduced production costs. The Green Hills Platform for Software Defined Radio offers the industry’s most cost-effective, comprehensive bundle of software and reference hardware platforms for building SDR-enabled devices.
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