Goal: molecular microscope, 3D images of individual molecules in situ
Marriage of atomic force microscope (AFM) and MRI imaging
RF coil (left), sample positioner (bottom), interferometer (top), cantilever (right)
Cantilever requires closed loop control: our GNU Radio application
Integrated design from volts to GUI.
Developers are encouraged to program several layers (optimize across the whole stack).
Universal Sofware Radio Peripheral (USRP)
Available from Ettus Research LLC, but design is open source.
Newer USRP2 has 100 MHz converters, much larger Xilinx FPGA
Connect signal processing blocks into a network and add a GUI.
Select signal processing blocks from the GNU Radio library.
Or, program your own in C++.
Program the hardware on the USRP board.
FPGA: sea of logic gates and flipflops, your program connects them.
Design your own special-purpose computer (DSP or ...)