XYNC

by Fairwaves

The ultimate low-cost massive MIMO SDR, with up to 32x32 transmit/receive channels

$19,500 raised

of $58,000 goal

34% Funded

Pledge Now

$4,500

XYNC Quadro

Four XTRXs provide eight TX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz and eight RX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz. (Price will increase after the campaign ends.)


$5,800

XYNC Quadro 6 GHz RX

Four XTRXs provide eight TX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz and eight RX channels at 1.8 GHz - 6 GHz. (Price will increase after the campaign ends.)


$6,500

XYNC Octo

Eight XTRXs provide 16 TX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz and 16 RX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz. (Price will increase after the campaign ends.)


$9,000

XYNC Quadro Tandem

Eight XTRXs provide 16 high-throughput TX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz and 16 high-throughput RX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz. (Price will increase after the campaign ends.)


$11,600

XYNC Quadro Tandem 6 GHz RX

Eight XTRXs provide 16 high-throughput TX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz and 16 high-throughput RX channels at 1.8 GHz - 6 GHz. (Price will increase after the campaign ends.)


$13,000

XYNC Octo Tandem

16 XTRXs provide 32 high-throughput TX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz and 32 high-throughput RX channels at 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz. (Price will increase after the campaign ends.)

Details

Recent Updates


As Featured In

Geeky Gadgets

"Developers, makers and enthusiasts working on a MIMO system may be interested in a new piece of hardware, launched by the Crowd Supply website last month, called the XYNC."

comunicacionesinalambricashoy

"Con diversos modelos que van de menos a más potencia, esta radio definida por software con capacidad MIMO puede ser utilizada en conexión con otra placa idéntica para otorgar todavía mayor funcionalidad."

XYNC is part of the Qorvo RF Accelerator and the Molex Stay Connected Design Challenge!

Up to 16 XTRX Boards, Synchronized & Multiplexed

If you're working on a massive MIMO system or have a large swath of spectrum you need to monitor, XYNC (pronounced iks-sync) is right for you. XYNC builds on the success of the Octopack SDR we offered during the XTRX campaign and takes into account feedback from the original Octopack users.

You can connect two XYNC boards, either to increase the number of RX/TX channels (e.g., two XYNC Octos give you 32 TX and 32 RX channels) or to increase throughput per channel (e.g., two XYNC Quadros give you twice the throughput of a single XYNC Octo). Connecting more than two XYNC boards is also possible, but requires an external clock and 1 pps signal distribution circuitry, neither of which is provided as part of this campaign.

XYNC comes in the following variations

XYNC ModelIncluded XTRXsTransmitReceive
XYNC Quadro48 channels (4 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz8 channels (4 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz
XYNC Quadro 6 GHz RX48 channels (4 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz8 channels (4 independent pairs), 1.8 GHz - 6 GHz
XYNC Octo816 channels (8 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz16 channels (8 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz
XYNC Quadro Tandem816 high-throughput channels (8 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz16 high-throughput channels (8 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz
XYNC Quadro Tandem 6 GHz RX816 high-throughput channels (8 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz16 high-throughput channels (8 independent pairs), 1.8 GHz - 6 GHz
XYNC Octo Tandem1632 high-throughput channels (16 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz32 high-throughput channels (16 independent pairs), 30 MHz - 3.7 GHz

Please contact us directly if you're interested in custom designs, R&D support packages, or volume pricing.

XYNC (back)

Synchronized and Multiplexed XTRXs

A single XYNC comes equipped with four or eight removable XTRX boards, metal installation brackets, cables for all of the TX/RX ports and the GPS port, and a special board for synchronizing the XTRX units. Each onboard XTRX provides two transmit channels and two receive channels. Thus, XYNC Quadro (with four XTRX units) has eight transmit and eight receive channels, and XYNC Octo (with eight XTRX units) has 16 transmit and 16 receive channels. Two XYNC Octo can be synchronized and will give you 32 transmit and 32 receive channels.

On the digital side, each XTRX unit is connected to a PCIe switch that multiplexes the XTRX PCIe lanes into a single PCIe 2.0 x4 connector. This makes it very compact and easy to install into a standard PC. Just don't forget to provide enough air flow for cooling, as setups like this can get quite hot.

A single XTRX is shown above. XYNC includes up to eight XTRX boards.

Features & Specifications

  • RF Chipset: 4x or 8x Lime Microsystems LMS7002M FPRF (double that for Tandem models)
  • FPGA: 4x or 8x Xilinx Artix 7 50T (double that for Tandem models)
  • Channels: 8×8/16×16/32×32 MIMO
  • Sample Rate: ~0.2 MSPS to 120 MSPS per channel (subject to the limitations explained above)
  • PCIe Throughput: PCIe x4 Gen 2.0, 16 Gb/s (double that for Tandem models)
  • RF Output Power: 0 to 10 dBm depending on frequency
  • RF Bandwidth: 1.4 MHz to 130 MHz (1.4 MHz to 30 MHz for the 6 GHz RX option)
  • Tuning Range: 30 MHz - 3.8 GHz
  • RX/TX Range:
    • 10 MHz - 3.7 GHz
    • 100 kHz - 3.8 GHz with signal level degradation
  • Reference Clock:
    • Stability w/o GPS: 100 ppb from 0°C to 70°C
    • Stability w/GPS: <10 ppb stability after GPS/GNSS lock
  • Form Factor: full-size PCIe
  • Bus Latency: <10 µs, stable over time
  • Synchronization: synchronize two XYNC boards directly or more than two XYNC boards with an external clock distribution network

RF Bandwidth

XYNC is based on multiple synchronized XTRX SDRs, so the maximum achievable RF bandwidth is a function of the individual XTRX RF bandwidths.

If you want to tune XYNC channels to receive or transmit at different parts of the spectrum, please keep two things in mind:

  1. XTRX RF filters are not ideal and have natural roll-off towards the edge, so you might need to overlap the XTRXs' receive/transmit windows to achieve a contiguous spectrum within which to receive or transmit.
  2. Each XTRX has only one receive and one transmit PLL, so both RX channels are "locked" to one other, as are both TX channels. This means that a single XYNC board only provides up to eight independent RX channels and eight independent TX channels. An XYNC Octo Tandem, for example, would provide 16 independent RX channels and 16 independent TX channels. Accordingly, it makes sense to run each XTRX in SISO mode.

XYNC Tandem

If you need greater throughput or more channels than a single XYNC can provide, consider a Tandem. As mentioned above, a Tandem is essentially two XYNC boards, connected by a cable and synchronized. Below are the primary reasons to choose an XYNC Tandem:

  1. For the same number of channels, an XYNC Quadro Tandem has twice the per-channel throughput of a regular XYNC Octo. If you need 16 TX and 16 RX channels but the PCIe 2.0 x4 throughput of a single XYNC Octo is insufficient for your application, then an XYNC Quadro Tandem might be a better fit.
  2. XYNC Octo Tandem has twice as many channels as XYNC Octo. So, if you need 32 TX and 32 RX channels for a higher order MIMO system, you'll need an XYNC Octo Tandem, even if the throughput of the XYNC Octo is not a limitation.
  3. The 6 GHz RX flavour of XYNC is only available as a Quadro, with 8 TX and 8 RX channels, so XYNC Quadro Tandem is the only way to get 16 TX and 16 RX channels at 6 GHz.

Number of Channels & Throughput

8 TX / 8 RX Channels16 TX / 16 RX Channels32 TX / 32 RX Channels
PCIe 2.0 x4 ThroughputXYNC QuadroXYNC Octo-
2x PCIe 2.0 x4 Throughput-XYNC Quadro TandemXYNC Octo Tandem

Comparison of XYNC Models

QuadroOctoQuadro TandemOcto Tandem
No. of XTRXs48816
Channels8 RX / 8 TX16 RX / 16 TX16 RX / 16 TX32 RX / 16 TX
ThroughputPCIe 2.0 x4PCIe 2.0 x42x PCIe 2.0 x42x PCIe 2.0 x4
Price$4,500 ($5,800 6GHz RX)$6,500$9,000 ($11,600 6GHz RX)$13,000

Again, connecting more than two XYNC boards requires an external clock and 1 pps distribution gear, neither of which is available through this campaign.

XYNC Simplified Block Diagram

XYNC simplifed block diagram (without phase sync loopback)

XYNC Full Block Diagram

XYNC full block diagram (with phase sync loopback)

Sampling Rate & Throughput Limits

XYNC uses a PCIe switch to connect all of its XTRXs to a single PCIe bus. The XTRXs are connected to the PCIe switch with PCIe 2.0 x1 buses, and the switch is connected to the host with a PCIe 2.0 x4 bus, which introduces additional limits to the XYNC sampling rate and throughput compared to a single XTRX.

Expanding on the (theoretical) maximum XTRX throughput limits, we get the following throughput per channel for XYNC Quadro and Octo in various configurations. Green cells indicate combinations of sample rate and PCIe bus configuration where the sampling rate is not limited by the PCIe bus but by the XTRX itself.

Maximum PCIe Bus Throughput by Configuration

ModeIQ x Ch x bitsBits totalPCIe 1.0 x1 (max 1,750 Mbps) PCIe 2.0 x1 or PCIe 1.0 x2 (max 3,500 Mbps) PCIe 2.0 x2 (max 7,000 Mbps) PCIe 2.0 x4 XYNC Total throughput (max 14,000 Mbps) PCIe 2.0 x4 per XYNC Quadro channel (max 14,000 Mbps) PCIe 2.0 x4 per XYNC Octo channel (max 14,000 Mbps)
XTRX XYNC
8-bit SISO2 x 1 x 816 bits109 Msps219 Msps 438 Msps 875 Msps 219 Msps 109 Msps
12-bit SISO2 x 1 x 1224 bits73 Msps146 Msps 292 Msps 583 Msps 146 Msps 73 Msps
16-bit SISO2 x 1 x 1632 bits55 Msps109 Msps219 Msps 438 Msps 109 Msps55 Msps
8-bit MIMO2 x 2 x 832 bits55 Msps109 Msps 219 Msps 438 Msps 109 Msps 55 Msps
12-bit MIMO2 x 2 x 1248 bits36 Msps73 Msps146 Msps 292 Msps 73 Msps36 Msps
16-bit MIMO2 x 2 x 1664 bits27 Msps55 Msps109 Msps 219 Msps 55 Msps27 Msps

SISO & MIMO configurations

In the table above, SISO configurations mean that only one receive and one transmit channel is used on each XTRX, i.e. XYNC Quadro would have 4x4 RX/TX channels and XYNC Octo would have 8x8 RX/TX channels. MIMO configurations mean that both receive and both transmit channels are used on each XTRX, i.e. XYNC Quadro would have 8x8 RX/TX channels and XYNC Octo would have 16x16 RX/TX channels. This is why SISO configurations enjoy twice the bandwidth per channel of MIMO configurations – they have half as many channels between which to share that bandwidth.

Synchronization & Phase Coherency

What exactly does XYNC synchronize? The answer is a bit complex. Below are some important facts you should keep in mind:

  • Each XTRX on an XYNC is a 2x2 MIMO transceiver and could be seen as a "channel pair." This means that each XTRX (i.e., each channel pair) can (but need not) be tuned to a different RF frequency. However, both channels in a given pair will always have the same RF frequency. Also, the RX and TX frequencies of each XTRX are tuned independently of other XTRXs.
  • The ADCs and DACs of all of the XTRXs on an XYNC are locked to a common reference clock. This means they are sampling with exactly same frequency but might sample at different points in time. In other words, any two XTRXs on an XYNC have a phase difference between them.
  • All XTRXs are locked to a common 1 pps synchronization signal, so timestamps are also synchronized between all sample streams.
  • Up- and down-converter PLLs are locked to a common reference clock but not phase-synchronized between XTRXs.
  • If you're looking to do direction finding or beamforming, you would need to take the extra step of calibrating the phases between all XTRXs. You can use either the built-in sine generator or an external sync sequence (e.g., from an external XTRX). Depending on your phase coherency precision requirements, you may need to repeat the calibration regularly (e.g., every half hour).
  • If you're looking for a non-beamforming MIMO, XYNC should work just fine as is.

Note that the XYNC software package does not currently include the phase calibration algorithm. Please contact us directly if you need support with phase calibration.

Manufacturing Plan

We were quite happy with the quality of the work done by the contract manufacturer (CM) we used to produce XTRX and the original Octopack, so we intend to work with them for XYNC as well. They are located not far from our offices, and we will monitor the manufacturing process closely.

Risks & Challenges

The original XTRX Octopack has already been delivered to backers and customers, and XYNC Quadro and XYNC Octo require only minor improvements to that design. While the 6 GHz RX variants require a new design, we have already built and tested fully functional prototypes.

Our greatest risk is probably our supply chain. As with any project, parts shortages could delay production. That said, we've been manufacturing complex hardware since 2013, and we have quite a lot of experience dealing with such challenges. We will post regular updates as manufacturing progresses.

Fulfillment & Logistics

Crowd Supply will be fulfilling orders to our backers and all questions regarding shipments should be directed to them. Take a look at their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for answers to the most common fulfillment questions.

Funding ends on Nov 25, 2019 at 03:59 PM PST (11:59 PM UTC)


Credits

Fairwaves

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

CTO

Sergey Kostanbaev

Software & Firmware Development

Andrey Sviyazov

Hardware Design

Albert Gardiner

CEO

Andrey Bakhmat

Marketing

Andy Avtushenko

Manufacturing

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