by Fairwaves

The first ever truly embedded SDR

View all updates Sep 17, 2017

XTRX Prototype Update

XTRX rev3 prototype, hot off the press

Life of a hardware company is never easy. Every error in hardware leads to significant amounts of lost time and money. You can’t just roll-out a hotfix to fix an issue. Which is why we’re taking a rigorous approach to testing our hardware before releasing it to the public. But today’s update is not about testing.

We sent XTRX rev3 files to the fab in August with the plan to get boards early September and have comfortable 1-2 weeks before GRCon’17 to bring them up and prepare a demo. We selected a good fast turn Contract Manufacturer (CM) in the SF Bay Area to minimize a probability of issues. What happened then surprised both us and the CM.

Everything was on track until CM received bare PCBs and started loading a Pick and Place machine. BoM just didn’t match. After numerous hours on a phone and bumping our heads against the wall we came to a realization that they manufactured a wrong (!) PCB.

We sent a file named “xtrx_rev3_05.07.2017.zip” to the CM for quotation. And later on, we sent a file named “xtrx_rev3_03.08.2017.zip” for the actual manufacturing run. And we told them to manufacture the latest one. What could possibly go wrong?

As a proper European, Andrey used DD.MM.YYYY date format, while the CM assumed US date format (MM/DD/YYYY) and 05.07 (5 July) became “later” in their mind than 03.08 (3 August).

CM did a super quick turn for the proper PCBs, worked through Saturday and flew someone from San Francisco to San Diego to deliver the boards to us, and we got the boards just in time to show them at the last day of GRCon’17.

We now have 24 XTRX rev3 boards and Sergey is busy bringing them up. We’re also using “universal” YYYY.MM.DD date format from now on. Stay tuned.

We’re preparing few interesting announcements for those who missed GRCon’17.

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Product Choices



Get an XTRX Pro board. Does not include any cables, antennas, or adapter boards.


XTRX Pro Deluxe Bundle

Get an XTRX Pro board as well as an Antennas + Cables set, a PCIe x2 + Front End Adapter, and a USB 3 Adapter with Aluminum Enclosure (see below for details). Also comes with four extra U.FL-to-U.FL cables and four extra U.FL-to-SMA-male cables.


Antennas + Cables

A full complement of cables and antennas for your XTRX, including four RF antennas (95 mm, 2 dBi, SMA male, GSM/3G/LTE 880 - 960 MHz, 1710 - 1990 MHz), one GPS antenna, and five cables.


USB 3 Adapter with Aluminum Enclosure

This adapter converts your XTRX from Mini PCIe to USB 3 and comes with an aluminum enclosure designed specifically for XTRX. The adapter has three status LEDs, a micro USB 3 port, one SMA connector for the GPS antenna, four SMA connectors for the MIMO Tx/Rx antenna pairs, a micro SIM card slot, and a slot for a GPIO FPC cable. Comes with a USB cable and all RF cables for internally connecting an XTRX to the SMA connectors. Does not include an XTRX, antennas, or FPC cable.


PCIe x2 + Front End Adapter

This PCIe card securely holds an XTRX board (not included) so it can be used in a standard PCIe x4 slot. It includes an RF front end with a LNA and PA for up to 100 mW output on each channel. A TDD switch is incorporated for applications like TDD LTE. You can bypass the front end by attaching cables directly to XTRX. This adapter achieves the full 10 Gbit/s raw bus bandwidth and can be plugged into x4/x8/x16 PCIe slots. A six-pin JTAG connector makes it easy to program and debug the FPGA. A micro SIM card slot is also present.


XTRX Pro PCIe Octopack

This single PCIe card comes loaded with eight (8!) removable XTRX Pro boards, metal installation brackets, enough cables for all GPS and MIMO Tx/Rx ports, and a special board for synchronizing all eight XTRX Pro boards.



We are a vertically integrated vendor of cellular equipment focused on the needs of emerging markets. We are developing, manufacturing, deploying, and operating turn-key cellular network solutions including radio equipment, towers, power and backhaul all the way to a core network and SS7 interconnect. Our team has been building software-defined radios and systems based on them since 2009 and is well known for its ClockTamer, UmTRX, and UmSITE products.

Alexander Chemeris


Sergey Kostanbaev

Software & Firmware Development

Andrey Sviyazov

Hardware Design

Albert Gardiner


Andrey Bakhmat


Andy Avtushenko


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