USRP E100 Now on Sale!

I woke up at 4 AM last night and couldn’t fall into sleep right away, so I got up and started reading emails. To my great surprise there was an email from Matt Ettus announcing the availability of the USRP E100 in mid December. The E100 here is according to the new naming convention used by Ettus: E=embedded, 1=first generation, 00=revision number – or something like that. So it is indeed the Embedded USRP I wrote about in July, which back then was based on some info I picked up on another mailing list and a press release.

Here is what Matt Ettus wrote in the announcement:

We are pleased to introduce another new addition to the USRP family of products.  The USRP E100 software radio is an embedded stand-alone system powered by the combination of a Gumstix Overo board with 720 MHz OMAP3 (containing both an ARM Cortex A8 processor & TI C64x+ DSP) and a Xilinx Spartan 3A-DSP1800 FPGA.

The USRP E100 series runs a full distribution of Linux enabling both development and deployment without the need for a host computer. The analog baseband is has dual 64 MS/s 12-bit ADCs, and dual 128 MS/s 14-bit DACs.

Other exciting new features:

  • Works with all of our daughterboards
  • Flexible clocking – The user can choose (at run time) a convenient clock rate, which is typically a multiple of the symbol time.  For example, the user can set the clock to 52 MHz for GSM applications, 61.44 MHz for UMTS, or 64 MHz for general purpose applications.
  • An on-board TCXO keeps the master clock and RF signals within a couple of parts per million.
  • The master reference can be locked to an external 5 or 10 MHz reference
  • The large Spartan 3A DSP FPGA allows for accelerating significant parts of the signal flow
  • The UHD drivers work on the USRP E100, so existing UHD-enabled applications should work out-of-the-box.
  • USRP [USB?] 2.0 Host and On-The-Go ports, for keyboard and mouse, or extra storage
  • Ethernet (10/100 Mbps) networking
  • HDMI Video output for hooking up a monitor
  • Audio in and out for voice applications

The introductory price for the USRP E100 is $1300, and shipments will start in mid December.

It will very interesting to see what throughput is achievable when using the USRP E100 alone. I doubt it will be able to take advantage of the full analog throughput but I have no idea. I guess it will be impressive if it will be able to do a few MS/s in each direction in full duplex mode (not just send the data but also do something useful with it 😉


The E100 uses the General Purpose Memory Controller (GPMC) bus which is a parallel memory bus. We have written a kernel module device driver for it, which the UHD talks to. As for bandwidth, about 20 MB/s is reported, which gives about 4-5 MHz of RF bandwidth at 16 bit samples.  This has not been optimized at all and we might get 50% more with a bit of tuning [link].

According to a followup email, the Gumstix Overo on the E100 has 512MB RAM, which means that it is the new Gumstix Overo Tide.

Code repository and pictures should be available later today.

Author: Alexandru Csete

Embedded software engineer in the satcom industry during the day. Radio amateur and SDR hacker during the night.