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A real-time cognitive radio network testbed is being built. This is the first paper to capture the overall picture of this project. Project scope and philosophy, design architecture, hardware platform, and key algorithms are reported. The use of cognitive radio network for smart grid is for the first time proposed in this paper. This unique testbed is ideal for such purpose. The advent of cognitive radio is inevitable. The Moore's law ruthlessly drives computing faster and cheaper. Software Defined Radio (SDR) reflects this trend. Still, the combination of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Digital Signal Processor (DSP) hardware is still too expensive. Is the General Purpose computation on Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) promising?
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