Vodafone, a key global operator, is backing LimeNET and supporting us to take our software defined radio technology mainstream with operator deployments. Read the full update here.
Our mission is to democratise wireless innovation. Last year, we launched the LimeSDR campaign as the first step towards this goal. Now, we are launching LimeNET, a new campaign that offers the community a line of pre-qualified hardware with integrated LimeSDR technology. There are two main LimeNET hardware stacks: Mini and Base Station - both of them are pre-qualified to work with the recently announced Ubuntu App Stores, so you can easily find, share, and publish apps specifically written with LimeSDR technology in mind.
If you’ve been following the LimeSDR project, here’s a summary of what’s new in LimeNET:
Read on for details!
LimeNET extends LimeSDR’s open source software-defined radio ecosystem by offering an array of standard LimeSDR-based hardware configurations on which you can run Ubuntu Core to find, share, publish, and deploy pre-packaged applications ("snaps"). The idea is to replace specialized, closed equipment, software, and knowledge with open source software and commodity hardware. LimeNET is an open alternative to the incumbent, closed wireless model.
|LimeNET Open Model||Incumbent Closed Model|
|Chipset||Readily available and open source software||Closed and proprietary with vendor lock-in|
|Radio Hardware||Readily available and open source||Closed and highly specialised|
|Baseband & Digital||General-purpose motherboards||Proprietary ASICs|
|Software||App-based with worldwide developer network||Closed and expensive with vendor lock-in|
|Deployment & Maintenance||Uses general IT skillset and commodity hardware||Highly specialised and requires OEM support|
LimeNET is the next step in the evolution of software defined radio. What you actually use it for is completely up to your imagination (and the imagination of thousands of other developers). Broadly speaking, LimeNET is a great option for any application that is a convergence of wireless technologies, such as:
For example, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, there was a demonstration of a complete 4G network running on a commodity laptop connected to a software-defined radio dongle (a LimeSDR!) streaming HD video to standard, off-the-shelf smart phones. Several aspects of this demo were unique:
This is just one example. There are plenty of others involving HAM, radio astronomy, AM/FM, GNSS, and more.
In this campaign, we’re offering the LimeNET Mini and LimeNET Base Station, and many of their constituent components.
Complete with an integrated LimeSDR USB micro Type-B with added shielding, this mini PC will get you up and running with the LimeNET app store in no time.
The LimeNET Mini comes pre-installed with the LimeSDR USB micro Type-B board and associated cabling and antennas.
LimeNET Mini ports layout
|1. USB 3.0||1. Risecard connector|
|2. LAN||2. USB 3.1 Type-C|
|3. Mini DisplayPort|
|4. HDMI 2.0|
|5. DC input|
|6. SATA cable connector|
|8. USB 3.1 Type-A|
|9. 30-pin debug connector|
|10. Power connector|
The LimeNET Base Station is a limited-edition, highly discounted combination of the LimeNET Core and LimeNET Amplifier Chassis detailed below. This is everything you need to set up your own cellular network, all in one compact package and with a savings of over $7,000.
A top-of-the-line gaming PC outfitted with a newly developed LimeSDR PCIe board, the LimeNET Core is a software defined radio powerhouse.
The following image shows the current internal components of the LimeNET Core. The exact make and model of the RAM and SSD components may change based on availability at the time of manufacture.
| |- | 1. Intel Core i7 - 6950X Processor Extreme Edition | 2. Crucial CT16G4DFD8213 64GB (4x 16GB) DDR4 2133 MHz | 3. Pre-amp bracket: MIMO 15 db LNA, MIMO TX SAW filter, MIMO 20 db PA | 4. GIGABYTE GV-N210SL-1GI graphics card with NVIDIA GeForce 210 | 5. Crucial MX300 SATA 3 internal 1 TB SSD w/ M.2 interface | 6. Corsair CX750MW Power Supply Unit | 7. LimeSDR PCIe board | 8. ASUS X99-M WS micro-ATX mainboard
Designed to mate perfectly with LimeNET Core, the LimeNET Amplifier Chassis provides the necessary hardware to turn your SDR setup into a long range wireless network.
Whereas the LimeNET Mini is based on the original LimeSDR USB boards (micro Type-B and Type-A, respectively), and the LimeNET Core is based on the LimeSDR PCIe, the LimeNET Base Station is based on the entirely new LimeSDR QPCIe board. This new board is a much more sophisticated version of the original LimeSDR PCIe board. In particular, it has two LMS7002 transceiver chips instead of one, which allows for a 4x4 MIMO configuration instead of a 2x2 MIMO configration.
LimeNET QPCIe board (front side)
|1. RF RX connectors||15. IC43 - EEPROM|
|2. J43, J42 - reference clock in and out||16. IC43 - FX3 flash boot jumper|
|3. LVDS interface||17. J28 - FPGA JTAG (0.1”)|
|4. IC40, J41 - GNSS receiver and antenna connector||18. SW2 - 4-bit switch|
|5. IC38 - FLASH memory||19. IC21, IC23 - FPGA configuration flash memory|
|6. J39, J38 - 2 x PMOD connectors||20. BATT1-RTC backup battery|
|7. LEDs||21. IC39 - temperature sensor|
|8. SW3 - power control switch||22. IC39 - temperature sensor|
|9. J44 - external 12 V power supply connector||23. RF RX connectors|
|10. J45 - 6-pin PCIe power connector||24. RF TX connectors|
|11. J31 - FX3 JTAG (0.05”)||25. RF PAs, switches, and connectors|
|12. IC34 - USB 3.0 controller (FX3)||26. IC1, IC4 - 2 x FPRF LMS7002M transceivers|
|13. J29 - USB 3.0 connector (micro Type-B)||27. RF TX connectors|
|14. IC35 - FX3 flash memory|
LimeNET QPCIe board (back side)
| |- | 1. IC49 - clock synthesizer | 2. IC46 - phase detector | 3. XO1-3 VCTXO | 4. IC2, IC3, IC5, IC6-RF transceivers EEPROMs | 5. IC42, real time clock
Note: While you can use the LimeSDR QPCIe board with other computers, LimeNET Base Station is the only complete systems we’ve tested and pre-qualified as part of the LimeNET ecosystem. Of course, we encourage developers to integrate LimeSDRs of all flavors into new hardware configurations, but our ability to support and maintain hardware configurations is currently limited to those in the LimeNET family.
LimeNET Gateway is a complete, certified, high-bandwidth cellular gateway that provides Wi-FI and Ethernet Internet connectivity backed by a connection to a 2G, 3G, or 4G macrocell. It provides users with downlink and uplink throughput of 150 and 50 Mbps, respectively, and can connect to any operator network with a SIM card (not included). Save $100 off the retail price.
LimeNET is built on a robust, community-driven software stack, including:
Check out our Ubuntu app stores for more information: