This paper presents Sora, a fully programmable software
radio platform on commodity PC architectures.
Sora combines the performance and fidelity of hardware
SDR platforms with the programmability and flexibility
of general-purpose processor (GPP) SDR platforms.
Sora uses both hardware and software techniques to address
the challenges of using PC architectures for highspeed
SDR. The Sora hardware components consist of
a radio front-end for reception and transmission, and
a radio control board for high-throughput, low-latency
data transfer between radio and host memories. Sora
makes extensive use of features of contemporary processor
architectures to accelerate wireless protocol processing
and satisfy protocol timing requirements, including
using dedicated CPU cores, large low-latency caches to
store lookup tables, and SIMD processor extensions for
highly efficient physical layer processing on GPPs. Using
the Sora platform, we have developed a demonstration
radio system called SoftWiFi. SoftWiFi seamlessly
interoperates with commercial 802.11a/b/g NICs, and
achieves equivalent performance as commercial NICs at
each modulation.