RENEW Project Documentation

Version 1.0

Reconfigurable Ecosystem for Next-generation End-to-end Wireless


Hardware Quick Start

Base Station Archicture

Faros BaseStation is made of Iris boards. In particular, up to 10 Iris boards are daisy-chained and form a coherent antenna array as seen below.

Each Iris in the chain receives a reference clock from upstream, performs jitter-cleaning through a clock buffer and routes the clock line downstream to the next board through the interconnect interface (see image below). With this design, the entire array remains frequency-locked for coherent MIMO operation. Additionally, data flows through the interconnects and distributed along the chain to/from FPGAs on each Iris. The entire chain is also powered up through the same interface.

Each Iris chain is packaged in an enclosure and forms an radios head (RH). up to 6 RHs are connected through high-speed links (Fiber medium) to a central Hub. Image below shows a rendering of the entire BaseStation with multiple RHs connected to the central Hub box.


Iris is an Ethernet/IP-enabled device. This means that Iris does not need to be directly connected to an end-host but could be connected rather through a network (including switches and routers). However, for highest performance (i.e., higher sample streaming rate support and lower latency) it is recommended to directly connect it to your host. Through SoapySDR tools, Iris can be discovered in the network. For more details on device discovery, see the Software section

Bring up Iris

Iris requires a valid SD card in order to function properly. Once powered on, a RED and GREEN LEDs close to the Ethernet port will turn on. If a valid SD card is inserted into the Iris, the RED LED turns off almost immediately. That means FPGA is successfully loaded and Iris is booting up.

Prepare SD card

You can download a working SD image file from here

Iris can use any micro SD cards with 8GB capacity or more. Simply use a micro SD card reader to attach your SD card to your PC. Use the script to flash your SD card using the image you have downloaded, as follows:

sudo ./flash_sd_card -t /path/to/image.tar.gz

Last updated on 19 Mar 2019 / Published on 19 Mar 2019