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MatPHY: An Open-Source Physical Layer Development Framework

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Top: Software architecture of the MatPHY framework. Bottom: Setup of MatPHY together with RX board, OsmocomBB and wireshark protocol analyzer.




Harald Kröll
Benjamin Weber
Stefan Zwicky


ETH Zurich




The open source GSM protocol stack of the OsmocomBB project offers a versatile development environment regarding the data link and network layer. There is no solution available for developing physical layer baseband algorithms in combination with the data link and network layer.

In this project, a baseband development framework architecture with a suitable interface to the protocol stack of OsmocomBB is developed. With the proposed framework a complete GSM protocol stack can be run and baseband algorithms can be evaluated in a closed system. It closes the gap between physical layer signal processing implementations in Matlab and the upper layers of the OsmocomBB GSM protocol stack. The functionality of the system is verified with a testbed comprising a base station and a receiver board with RF transceiver and FPGA.

The architecture of the baseband signal processing framework comprises a GSM physical layer implementation, referred to as phydev, and the interface phyconnect, which connects the mobile application of OsmocomBB, Phydev is a Matlab realization of the physical baseband receiver that is typically implemented on the baseband processor, assisted by accelerator blocks in dedicated hardware including TPU, digital frontend, detector and decoder.


  • Harald Kröll, Stefan Zwicky, Benjamin Weber, Christian Benkeser, and Qiuting Huang. Physical Layer Development Framework for OsmocomBB. Journal of Signal Processing Systems, 73(3):301–314, May 2013. DOI: 10.1007/s11265-013-0762-2
  • Harald Kröll, Christian Benkeser, Stefan Zwicky, Benjamin Weber, and Qiuting Huang. Baseband Signal Processing Framework for the OsmocomBB GSM Protocol Stack. In 2012 Wireless Innovation Forum European Conference on Communications Technologies and Software Defined Radio (SDR’12 - WInnComm - Europe), pages 127–132, Brussels, Belgium, June 2012.