Tagged: RFNM

RFNM Now Available for Pre-Order

Back in April we posted about the RFNM, an upcoming software defined radio project which will have eight 12-bit ADCs, up to 612 MHz real time bandwidth, and two DACs for transmitting with up to 153 MHz bandwidth. The standard board will support tuning from 600 - 7200 MHz, with tuning expanded down to 10 MHz available via an RFFC2071A mixer daughterboard. The board also has an onboard VSPA DSP processor, as well as built in ARM CPU cores, and a 16 GFLOPS GPU all of which can help process the massive bandwidth, as that full live bandwidth will be very difficult to transfer and use on a PC.

The RFNM was been released for pre-order a few weeks ago to customers who had registered interest, and has now recently been released for general pre-orders. The pricing is:

  • RFNM Motherboard - US$299: LA9310, Si5510, i.MX8MP, 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC 5.1, Machined enclosure
  • Lime Daughterboard - US$179: 1x TX/RX, 1-3500 MHz, LMS7002M 
  • Granita Daughterboard - US$249: 2x RX or 1x RX + 1x TX, 10-7200 MHz, Arctic Semi Granita, Machined enclosure 
  • Breakout Board: US$19

You will need the motherboard and at least one daughterboard.

We have been in contact with Davide Cameron, the developer behind the project and he has mentioned that a pre-production unit should be on the way to us soon for testing and review. He has noted that the software and drivers are still in development, but he has already been able to get 122 MHz out through USB to SDR++ on a machine with a fast CPU. He has also had Cyberether running well on a Mac M1, and GNU Radio on all platforms.

The RFNM Motherboard

RFNM Updates: Motherboard Prototypes Manufactured

Back in April we posted about the RFNM, an upcoming software defined radio project which will have eight 12-bit ADCs, up to 612 MHz real time bandwidth, and two DACs for transmitting with up to 153 MHz bandwidth. The standard board will support tuning from 600 - 7200 MHz, with tuning expanded down to 10 MHz via an RFFC2071A mixer.

Recently they've updated their blog and show that they have successfully manufactured the first prototype of the RFNM motherboard. The motherboard is the board containing the LA9310 RF and computing chips, and then they intend on having various daughterboards for tuners that will expand the tuning range and performance.

They also updated their pricing, noting that they have upgraded a few specifications. The motherboard is set to be priced at $299. It will be available for preorder in August, with an expected October delivery date.

The RFNM Motherboard

The RFNM: A Next Generation SDR with 10 MHz to 7200 MHz tuning range, 12-Bit ADCs and up to 612 MHz Bandwidth

The RFNM is an upcoming software defined radio that has some impressive high end specifications only seen in SDRs costing thousands, and at the same time the creator claims that it will be priced at a steal. While no pricing has been set, the creator noted in a Reddit post that pricing will be "closer to $500", bringing it's price similar to SDRs like the HackRF, bladeRF, LimeSDR, PlutoSDR.

The RFNM will have eight 12-bit ADCs on board, and provide up to 612 MHz of real time bandwidth for receiving. For transmitting it has two DACs, with up to 153 MHz of TX bandwidth. The tuning range will be from 10 MHz up to 7200 MHz. They note that their front end also has 13 preselection filters and six different LNAs and programmable attenuators.

Pushing 12-bit 612 MHz bandwidth of the device would be difficult, so to help with processing all that data, there will be an onboard VSPA DSP processor, as well as built in ARM CPU cores, and a 16 GFLOPS GPU. Connectivity will be either through USB 3.0, or Ethernet.

The main baseband chip on the SDR is the Layerscape® Access LA9310 chip sold by NXP which provides I/Q ADCs and DACs. Those signals are sent to the RFNM Daughterboard Interface, where they are upconverted to the frequency range of interest. This lets the end user choose a different daughterboard for different applications.

The Granita daughterboard has tuning capability from 600 MHz to 7200 MHz. To get frequencies down to 10 MHz the RFNM is making use of the RFFC2071A mixer. There will also be a cheaper 'lite' version that does not use a mixer, and hence only provides tuning from 600 MHz to 7200 MHz.

In addition, the website states that they are pursing a version of their board that will make use of the LimeSDR LMS7002 chip that will cover 10 MHz to 3500 MHz. They are also looking into boards that may break out more ADC lanes, an oscilloscope add-on, and breakout board.

You can join the RFNM email waiting list, and find more details about it at rfnm.io. At the time of this post they state that the waiting list is "53% full". As of right now the project appears to have nothing concrete to show off, but the lead creator Davide Cavion was behind the FPV Blue HD Video system, so he appears to have the experience to take this project forward.

A render of the RFNM software defined radio board.