Device-optimization software developer Green Hills Software and embedded communications middleware solutions provider Objective Interface Systems yesterday announced their collaboration on a technique that reduces the memory footprint of the software that drives software-defined radios (SDRs).

SDR developers are looking for ways to further reduce the size and weight of the radios to make them attractive to sectors outside of the military, such as public safety. According to Joe Jacobs, senior vice president of Objective Interface Systems, the company’s engineers analyzed the military-developed software communications architecture, or SCA, an open architecture that defines how hardware and software can operate in harmony within an SDR. The architecture enables the radio to load and run waveforms, and to be networked into an integrated system to achieve interoperability.

The end result of the analysis was an optimization technique that identifies and deletes unused portions of the SCA by eliminating C++ virtual functions and unnecessary code. As a result, memory usage is reduced by an average of 50%, according to Jacobs.

“What this does, in essence, is eliminate the dead code—those parts that are not really being used by the running system,” Jacobs said. “By doing so, it can substantially reduce the footprint of the overall system.” —Mary Rose Roberts