modem firmware

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Tue Aug 29 23:01:09 UTC 2017

Troy Benjegerdes wrote:

> Please advise how I may best encourage you to stop talking
> and take my money.

Take your money?  Which product are you seeking to buy?  An FCDEV3B
board?  I am hoping to have those boards available for retail sale by
the end of September, i.e., only one month of waiting left.  I have an
outstanding order for a batch of boards with my contract manufacturer,
the CM acknowledged the order on 20170810 and said it was going to be
3 to 4 weeks, so they are supposed to deliver by Thursday of next week
(20170907) and I am going to bug them at that time if they don't
deliver by then.  Once the CM delivers the assembled boards to me, I
will need to take them to my home lab and put them through the
production test and calibration process (I have successfully recreated
the CMU200-based RF calibration process despite never having obtained
a copy of OM's original software for it), that production test will
reveal how many of the assembled boards are actually good (so far the
good yield has been about 50%), and then the good boards will become

> Now if only we could
> properly finance you to find bugs and reverse-engineer a
> better 4GLTE software defined radio...

Reverse engineering and SDR do not go together; with an SDR approach
there is nothing to reverse-eng and instead you have to forward-eng
everything yourself from scratch.

However, none of the mainstream commercial 4G/LTE modems are SDR-based,
instead they all use custom silicon.  USRP-style SDR approach is
totally unsuitable for a cellphone which you could carry in your
pocket, instead you would need custom silicon of the kind that
Qualcomm and MTK and their ilk make.

On the note of "if only we could properly finance you", I actually
happen to know some very good recently retired ASIC design engineers,
and if there were "proper" financing available, I might be able to
convince them to come out of retirement and work on a libre LTE modem
ASIC project with me.  But the "proper" financing for a project of
that sort would need to be well into millions of dollars, hence I am
not holding my breath for any such venture.

On the other hand, you can have a libre modem for GSM/2G based on the
elderly Calypso chipset for much much less: the already-developed
FCDEV3B modem boards for hobbyists and tinkerers will probably go for
somewhere in the $500-600 USD range retail, and if you are interested
in an SMT modem module (directly competing with SIM900 etc) based on
the FreeCalypso core, the development cost would be somewhere in the
low 5 digits USD, as opposed to the 7 digits for a new LTE modem ASIC.


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