The software defined radio market was valued at USD 18.26 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 30.00 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 8.63% from 2017 to 2022. The base year considered for the market study is 2016, whereas the forecast period is from 2017 to 2022.
Technological advancements in software defined radio
The type of missions being carried out by defense forces has been changing rapidly over the years. Software defined radios developed a decade earlier are no longer adequate to support the diverse nature of operations. This is because these systems are bulkier and do not meet the mobility-related requirements of troops stationed in adverse and difficult terrains. Additionally, the implementation of communication concepts has also contributed to the demand for lighter and more agile software defined radio systems.
The demand for more advanced software defined radio equipment has increased as older equipment requires a large number of vehicles for transport, which limits their deployment flexibility. Furthermore, the bandwidth within which this equipment operates is unable to adequately meet the demand for modern network-enabled applications. Older equipment is also more vulnerable to interferences and increasingly sophisticated electronic attacks. These factors have led to increased spending by governments toward procuring advanced communication equipment, which is more durable, flexible, and easier to set up in a harsh and demanding environment. For example, using a more flexible approach, based on the enhancements that reconfigurable SDR technology has to offer, the services of one wireless technology or system may be achieved using resources from another.
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How is the increase in demand for next-generation IP systems presenting opportunities for the software defined radio market?
There is an increase in demand for next-generation IP systems, as one can increase profitability by offering customers a range of IP network products across the systems that bring new services to the market faster, reduce transaction costs, and enhance the end-user experience. Next-generation highly mobile front-line communications are tending to move away from the high-power single line of contact methods, towards a low-power “mesh” system, where more operators are linked together by means of a multi-node mesh system. These systems are less susceptible to single points of failure and are expected to be self-healing, such that the communications packets find the best route to the destination based on traffic levels and available system bandwidth.
Next-generation IP is expected to use Voice Over Secure IP (VoSIP) to transport and secure calls at the same classification level as the network. VoSIP is also anticipated to be easier to manage and maintain apart from being more scalable and robust than the traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment.
Will players in the software defined radio market overcome the challenge of high power consumption?
Power consumption is one of the biggest challenges for the software defined radio market. SDR tends to require more power for a given function than equipment designed specifically for purposes of optimum analog/digital architectural partitioning. This is particularly challenging for small handheld units, and for ubiquitous units. Parallel computation enhancements and the rapid evolvement of digital signal processor (DSP) and field programmable gate array (FPGA) has helped to provide high computational performance.
In software defined radios, various technologies can be used, including ASIC (application specific integrated circuit), DSP (digital signal processor), FPGA (field programmable gate array), and GPP (general purpose processor). GPP technology offers higher flexibility but has the lowest performance. However, ASIC technology is the least flexible but with the highest performance. ASIC is used to minimize power consumption and to maximize performance.
For base stations like cellular network infrastructure stations, and for vehicularly mounted stations, the power, size, and weight factors are easier to accommodate. However, performance parameters and cost may still be challenging for complex high bit rate waveforms.
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