The LimeSDR QPCIe – what you need to know

This new LimeSDR board is a much more sophisticated version of the original LimeSDR PCIe board.

The LimeNET campaign brings together three incredibly powerful, flexible systems that we believe will democratise wireless innovation. In our fourth in a short series of blog posts following the launch of the LimeNET campaign we look at the new 4×4 MIMO version of the LimeSDR – the LimeSDR QPCIe. This is the exceptionally powerful software defined radio board used in the LimeNET carrier-class equipment and can be used in conjunction with the LimeNET CORE and amplifier (see later posts) or as a standalone* radio controlled separately.

Further information is also available on the Crowd Supply page, which you can visit here to back and share.

What’s changed?

This new LimeSDR board is a much more sophisticated version of the original LimeSDR PCIe board. In particular, it has two LMS7002 transceiver chips instead of one, which allows for a 4×4 MIMO configuration instead of a 2×2 MIMO configuration.

Core components

The board’s key components are all on the front side. If we take a look at this we can see the two advanced field programmable transceivers (#26) which together move from the original LimeSDR’s 2×2 MIMO and deliver true 4×4 MIMO on the device. In addition to this, the board.

Connectivity is managed via the PCIe standard (#6), however there is also the USB micro type B standard (#13)

LimeNET QPCIe Board Front
LimeNET QPCIe board (front side)

1. RF RX connectors 15. IC43 – EEPROM
2. J43, J42 – reference clock in and out 16. IC43 – FX3 flash boot jumper
3. LVDS interface 17. J28 – FPGA JTAG (0.1”)
4. IC40, J41 – GNSS receiver and antenna connector 18. SW2 – 4-bit switch
5. IC38 – FLASH memory 19. IC21, IC23 – FPGA configuration flash memory
6. J39, J38 – 2 x PMOD connectors 20. BATT1-RTC backup battery
7. LEDs 21. IC39 – temperature sensor
8. SW3 – power control switch 22. IC39 – temperature sensor
9. J44 – external 12 V power supply connector 23. RF RX connectors
10. J45 – 6-pin PCIe power connector 24. RF TX connectors
11. J31 – FX3 JTAG (0.05”) 25. RF PAs, switches, and connectors
12. IC34 – USB 3.0 controller (FX3) 26. IC1, IC4 – 2 x FPRF LMS7002M transceivers
13. J29 – USB 3.0 connector (micro Type-B) 27. RF TX connectors
14. IC35 – FX3 flash memory

LimeNET QPCIe Board Back Side
LimeNET QPCIe board (back side)

1. IC49 – clock synthesizer
2. IC46 – phase detector
3. XO1-3 VCTXO
4. IC2, IC3, IC5, IC6-RF transceivers EEPROMs
5. IC42, real time clock

How much will it cost and when will it be delivered?

The board is available to backers at $2,599.

The first LimeSDR QPCIe boards will ship from October 2017.

App stores and getting up and running

LimeNET is built on a robust, community-driven software stack, including GNU Octave, Ubuntu, Pothosware, Lime Suite, GNU Radio, Lua Radio, pyLMS7002M. We’ll be announcing more information on our app stores shortly, but they have had a face lift and, though our partnership with Ubuntu, become easier to access and get started with.


* While you can use the LimeSDR QPCIe board with other computers, LimeNET Core and, by extension, LimeNET Base Station are the only complete systems we’ve tested and pre-qualified as part of the LimeNET ecosystem. Of course, we encourage developers to integrate LimeSDRs of all flavors into new hardware configurations, but our ability to support and maintain hardware configurations is currently limited to those in the LimeNET family.