Best Affordable Board for Software Defined Radio (SDR)?


I am interested in using Pynq to learn/teach about developing FPGA DSP content (filters, modems, etc) for use with a SDR (software defined radio).

I have had a look at the supported boards and see ZCU-111 has excellent support for this but is very expensive ($8999 list, then you need to buy RF front end parts).

So, do any of the other boards have a high speed ADC/DAC connected to the PL?

And/or could one interface the PL on one of these boards to the commonly available USB-attached experimenter’s SDRs such as HackRF1, RTL-SDR, etc?

Or interface to Ethernet attached radios such as USRP (which are also on the expensive side unfortunately)?

Or is the most feasible method to attach the SDR to PS’s USB/Ethernet then use DMA and ring buffers to move data into and out of the PL? Seems this would add a lot of latency.


Another thought: The Pluto SDR ( ) has a Zynq device inside of it and all its software is open source. Has there been any thought to try to add Pynq support for that as a device?


@RDPowers, stay tune there will be news shortly about an RFSoC board for teaching at an affordable price

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February 28th A Low-Cost Teaching and Research Platform Based on Xilinx RFSoC Technology and the PYNQ Framework at FPGA’21