Here we look at how to use the Myriad RF board with an Altera FPGA module to create an easy, inexpensive method of RF prototyping.

To do this we’ve constructed a low cost universal radio development platform; based on the Myriad-RF board (buy board / download free database) and Altera FPGA module, called DE0-Nano board. The latter is supplied by one of the Taiwan based Altera design partners (TerAsic). The complete platform enables developers to experiment and evaluate current and future modulation schemes and wireless systems, operating over a wide frequency range.

The prototyping kit consists of the Myriad-RF boardDEO-Nano interface board, and DEO-Nano development kit; and runs the Myriad-RF software. Once the system is put together, it can be powered up from the mains using the specified AC to DC (+5V) converter.

Communication with the setup could be established via Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 microcontroller, which enables data transfer rates of over 53 Mbytes per second to and from the kit. It physically connects to USB Mini-B jack and once connected it appears as virtual com port on the computer. The firmware uses USB COM drivers which can be downloaded via the Myriad-RF software pages.

Microcontroller firmware compilation and programming is  documented in FX2P firmware compilation guide.

Instructions for connecting up the boards into a complete system, as well as setting up the software are documented in the Myriad-RF Development Kit.

Once connected, two executable software files need to installed onto your PC: the Quartus II Programmer enables you to  (well) programme the Development Kit FPGA module. And the Myriad-RF software enables the easy configuration of the RF module (LMS6002D).

And that’s it. A fully configurable, low cost RF prototyper that lets you create a network of near infinite complexity.