Wireless equipment vendors have relied on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to implement multiple functions as wireless technology has evolved. Common Public Radio Interface, or CPRI, is one example of a wireless protocol that is both new and evolving, and one that can be fully supported in FPGAs. CPRI was formed in 2003 as an industry initiative to define a common interface between radio equipment (RE) and their controllers (REC), in response to demands for greater bandwidth and for the ability to support ever-increasing data rates under extreme pressure.

This paper explains CPRI and its functions, describes the advantages of using a flexible, low cost FPGA-based implementation for CPRI, and discusses design tools that can optimize the synthesis, implementation and verification flow.

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