Using NI USRP Devices with UHD and GNU Radio

Updated Jun 29, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • USRP-2920
  • USRP-2953
  • USRP X310
  • USRP-2900
  • USRP-2901

Software

  • LabVIEW

Driver

  • NI-USRP

Other

GNU Radio

Issue Details

How do I use my NI-USRP device with GNU Radio? Can I return it to compatibility with LabVIEW?

Solution

National Instruments USRP devices are not supported using GNU Radio. However, they are compatible with GNU Radio with different procedures for different categories of devices. 

NI USRP 290x
The NI-USRP driver includes GNU Radio compatible firmware and FPGA images for USRP devices. The driver software media also includes the NI-USRP Configuration Utility, which you can use to update the devices. For the 290x devices you can flash it with the FPGA image seen below. This will configure the device to be seen as a B210 device in UHD and GNU Radio. 
 

Be aware that once the device has been flashed to a B210 there is no defined procedure for getting it back to a 290x device. 

NI USRP 292x and 293x
The NI-USRP driver includes GNU Radio compatible firmware and FPGA images for USRP devices. The driver software media also includes the NI-USRP Configuration Utility, which you can use to update the devices. Refer to the Updating NI 292x Firmware and FPGA Images section of the NI USRP-2920/2921/2922 Getting Started Guide for information on how to update the firmware to a compatible firmware image for the 292x / 293x family of devices.

To use the NI-USRP driver with Ettus Research USRP N2xx and USRP2 devices, you may need to update the device firmware and FPGA images. If you have used the USRP N2xx and USRP2 devices with GNU Radio, you may not have NI-USRP compatible images. Refer to the Ettus Research website for more information about Ettus Research devices.

NI USRP RIO
National Instruments USRP RIO devices can be used with UHD and GNU Radio as well with the use of a device firmware update as well as an updated FPGA bitfile. Please refer to Ettus Research's documentation on the matter: Running UHD and GNU Radio on NI-USRP RIO. The reverse process, Converting an X310 into an NI-USRP RIO, is documented and maintained by Ettus Research as well. 
 

Additional Information

Refer to the Load the images onto the on-board flash (USRP-N Series only) section of the UHD - USRP2 and N Series Application Notes for more information about updating the USRP N2xx device firmware and FPGA images.

Neither of the documented alterations to the software / firmware of NI-USRP devices is supported by National Instruments Technical support. Contact support@ettus.com for technical support regarding these processes. 

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