Performance Benchmarking Software-Defined Radio Frameworks: GNURadio and CRTSv.2

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Virginia Tech

In this thesis, we benchmark the Cognitive Radios Test System version 2.0 (CRTSv.2) to analyze its software performance with respect to its internal structure and design choices. With the help of system monitoring and profiling tools, CRTSv.2 is tested to quantitatively evaluate its features and understand its shortcomings. With the help of GNU Radio, a popular, easy-to-use software radios framework, we ascertain that CRTSv.2 has a low memory footprint, fewer dependencies and overall, is a lightweight framework that can potentially be used for real-time signal processing. Several open-source measurement tools such as valgrind, perf, top, etc. are used to evaluate the CPU utilization, memory footprint and to postulate the origins of latencies. Based on our evaluation, we observe that CRTSv.2 shows a CPU utilization of approximately 9% whereas GNU Radio is 59%. CRTSv.2 has lower heap memory consumption of approximately 3MB to GNU Radio's 25MB. This study establishes a methodology to evaluate the performance of two SDR frameworks systematically and quantitatively.

software radios, software performance, performance evaluation, SDR