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Physical Layer Development Framework for OsmocomBB

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The open source GSM protocol stack of the OsmocomBB project offers a versatile development environment regarding the data link and network layer. There is no solution available for developing physical layer baseband algorithms in combination with the data link and network layer. In this paper, a baseband development framework architecture with a suitable interface to the protocol stack of OsmocomBB is presented. With the proposed framework, a complete GSM protocol stack can be run and baseband algorithms can be evaluated in a closed system. It closes the gap between physical layer signal processing implementations in Matlab and the upper layers of the OsmocomBB GSM protocol stack. An embedded version of the system has been realized with FPGA and PowerPC to enable real-time operation. The functionality of the system has been verified with a testbed comprising an OpenBTS base-station emulator, a receiver board with RF transceiver and our developed physical layer signal processing system.

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    In basic GSM only GMSK modulation is supported, where symbol is equal to bit.

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    Note that the states of dedicated mode (see Fig. 3) are not implemented in our framework so far.

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    Note that we have realized this embedded version of our system on FPGA, because we are aiming at a baseband ASIC in the near future.

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    A pseudo-header used to transport GSM frames of the Um air interface over UDP/IP.


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We would like to thank Dominic Just and Pirmin Vogel for their valuable work during their student projects and Raphael Rolny for this consultation regarding user cooperation. We thank ACP AG for providing us the IRIS305 single-chip RF transceiver for our testbed setup. In addition, we want to thank David Tschopp and Dominik Riha for their support on the receiver board. This work was funded by CTI, Switzerland, in collaboration with ACP AG.

Author information

Correspondence to Harald Kröll.

Additional information

This work has been presented at the SDR 2012 Wireless Innovation Forum Europe conference [1]. The open-source MatPHY framework is licensed under the GPLv3 license and can be downloaded at: http://code.google.com/p/matphy.

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Kröll, H., Zwicky, S., Weber, B. et al. Physical Layer Development Framework for OsmocomBB. J Sign Process Syst 73, 301–314 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11265-013-0762-2

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  • Baseband signal processing
  • Physical layer hardware architectures
  • OsmocomBB
  • GSM protocol stack
  • L1CTL messages