USRP Hardware Driver and USRP Manual  Version: 003.010.002.000-0-tagged
UHD and USRP Manual
Firmware and FPGA Images

Images Overview

Every USRP device must be loaded with special firmware and FPGA images. The methods of loading images into the device vary among devices:

  • USRP1: The host code will automatically load the firmware and FPGA at runtime.
  • USRP2: The user must manually write the images onto the USRP2 SD card.
  • USRP-N Series: The user programs an image into on-board storage, which then is automatically loaded at runtime.
  • USRP-E Series: The host code will automatically load the FPGA at runtime.
  • USRP-B Series: The host code will automatically load the FPGA at runtime.
  • USRP-X Series: The user programs an image into on-board storage, which then is automatically loaded at runtime.

Pre-built Images

Pre-built images are available for download.

The pre-built images come in two forms:

  • bundled with UHD software in a platform-specific installer
  • stand-alone platform-independent archive files

UHD Images Downloader

The UHD images downloader downloads UHD images compatible with the host code and places them in the default images directory.

The download script is typically installed into your $PATH and can be invoked by calling

uhd_images_downloader

It can also be found at: <install-path>/lib/uhd/utils/uhd_images_downloader.py

By default, it installs images to: <install-path>/share/uhd/images

Platform installers

The UNIX-based installers will install the images into /usr/share/uhd/images.

The Windows installers will install the images into C:/Program Files/UHD/share/uhd/images.

Archive install

When installing images from an archive, there are two options:

Option 1:

Unpack the archive into the UHD installation prefix. UHD software will always search <install-path>/share/uhd/images for image files. Where <install-path> was set by the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX at configure-time.

Option 2:

Unpack the archive anywhere and set the UHD_IMAGES_DIR environment variable. The UHD_IMAGES_DIR environment variable may contain a list of paths. They should be ordered by preference.

Building Images

The UHD source repository comes with the source code necessary to build both firmware and FPGA images for all supported devices.

The build commands for a particular image can be found in <uhd-repo-path>/images/Makefile.

Xilinx FPGA builds

USRP Xilinx FPGA images are built with two different versions of ISE, depending on the device.

The build requires that you have a UNIX-like environment with Make. Make sure that xtclsh from the Xilinx ISE bin directory is in your $PATH.

  • Xilinx ISE 14.7: USRP X3x0 Series, USRP B2x0

See <uhd-repo-path>/fpga/usrp3/top/.

  • Xilinx ISSE 12.2: USRP N2x0, USRP B1x0, USRP E1x0, USRP2

See <uhd-repo-path>/fpga/usrp2/top/.

ZPU firmware builds

The ZPU GCC compiler is required to build the ZPU firmware images. The build requires that you have a UNIX-like environment with CMake and Make. Make sure that zpu-elf-gcc is in your $PATH.

See <uhd-repo-path>/firmware/zpu.

Altera FPGA builds

Quartus is required to build the Altera FPGA image for the USRP1. Pre-built images can also be found in <uhd-repo-path>/fpga/usrp1/rbf.

See <uhd-repo-path>/fpga/usrp1/toplevel/.

FX2 firmware builds

The SDCC compiler is required to build the FX2 firmware images. The build requires that you have a UNIX-like environment with CMake and Make.

See <uhd-repo-path>/firmware/fx2.