This version (10 Mar 2017 23:12) was approved by rgetz.The Previously approved version (01 Mar 2017 18:49) is available.Diff

The ADALM-PLUTO (PlutoSDR) is not yet shipping. Expect things to start shipping by end of April.

This documentation is provided to people who are using early rev A or B devices, while rev B goes through the manufacturing cycle, and we get some initial inventory. Rev B is the first release to production revision.

We hope to make some minor tweaks in a Rev C (to mostly improve robustness) on some things we learned with Rev B. However, we need to get some more public feedback on Rev B before we schedule/plan anything in detail. To be clear - Rev C is not planned/scheduled/committed yet. We could decide that it's not worth it. For more information see the Hardware pages if you are interested in the details.

Even for those who don't have the device yet - feedback on documentation is appreciated.


The ADALM-PLUTO Active Learning Module (PlutoSDR) is an easy to use tool available from Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) that can be used to introduce fundamentals of Software Defined Radio (SDR) or Radio Frequency (RF) or Communications as advanced topics in electrical engineering in a self or instructor lead setting. The PlutoSDR allows students to better understand the real world RF around them, and is applicable for all students, at all levels, from all backgrounds. Early learning in a hands-on manner with the PlutoSDR will ensure a solid foundation for students to build on, as they pursue science, technology, or engineering degrees.

The PlutoSDR Active Learning Module is a tool that closes the relationships between theory and practical radio frequency activities to the user. It provides a personal portable lab that, when used with a host, can augment the learning that takes place in the classroom. A variety of software packages such as MATLAB or Simulink provides an innovative graphical user interface (GUI) allowing intuitive usage and minimizes the learning curve to enable students to learn faster, work smarter, and explore more.

The ADALM-PLUTO Active Learning Module is a learning tool for everyone.

Based on the AD9363, it offers one receive channel and one transmit channel that can be operated in full duplex, capable of generating or measuring RF analog signals from 325 to 3800 MHz, at up to 61.44 Mega Samples per Second (MSPS) with a 20 MHz bandwidth. The PlutoSDR is completely self contained, fits nicely in a shirt pocket or backpack, and is entirely USB powered with the default firmware. With support for OS X™, Windows™, and Linux™, it allows exploration and understanding of RF systems no matter where or when the user is.


PlutoSDR is a self contained RF lab in your hand. It's more than the combinations of a few parts, but to understand the capabilities of the unit, you must understand the fundamental operation of each part inside the unit. Depending on who you are, and what you want to do, you may have different needs, and different wants. It's expected that many people will stop when they solve their immediate problem and don't want to go any deeper into the stack. Before digging into the documentation, check out the device prerequisites, and try to think about how you will use the ADALM-PLUTO. There are 4 main categories of users:

    • PlutoSDR users normally interact with RF signals with MATLAB, Simulink, GNU Radio or custom C, C++, C#, or Python environment on a host (x86) Windows, Linux or Mac or embedded Linux (Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone,, insert your favorite embedded Linux platform, etc) platform over USB.
    • If you want to see how to generate or capture RF waveforms, this is the place.
    • Everyone should read this section, as it describes the device, and describes how to get the drivers and host software installed properly.
    • Most users should find all the need in this section.
    • normally write custom software or HDL (for the FPGA) that run directly on the PlutoSDR device. This may put the PlutoSDR in different modes, and support different external USB devices (including LAN (via USB), or WiFi (vs USB)), extending the capabilities of the device. This includes all the information to compile HDL projects, compile kernels, change to custom USB PID/VID and/or run custom user space applications. For example, you could:
      • set up a standalone airplane tracking station which communicates to the internet via Wifi or LAN.
      • set up mobile terminal to emulate someone else's keyboard.
    • may be interested in taking the PCB out of the case, and making hardware modifications, or connect GPIO to different devices, or attempt to synchronize multiple PlutoSDR's together. Since this is pretty wide open, we don't have any examples of this - but do provide the info needed, including all the schematics, and layout info.
    • Don't use PlutoSDR at all, but design their own Software Defined radios, and just want to better understand the mistakes we made (so they don't do the same), or want to re-use pieces of PlutoSDR's hardware, software, or HDL in their own products (which is great - that is one of the reasons we did PlutoSDR). You can also see how the chips inside PlutoSDR (AD9363) react to custom waveforms to determine if it is appropriate for your system. If you want a low cost spectrum analyzer to see if your other RF projects are working properly, and you are operating in the 325 to 3800 MHz bands, and can handle the issues with the device, you may want to check this section out as well.
  1. Marketing Collateral: Various pictures, of the unit that anyone can feel free to use.

It's expected that most people will work their way down through each section, reading and skimming most of the content. The content is in a constant state of improvement, so if you do have a question, please ask at EngineerZone, or check the help and support page.

All the products described on this page include ESD (electrostatic discharge) sensitive devices. Electrostatic charges as high as 4000V readily accumulate on the human body or test equipment and can discharge without detection.

Although the boards feature ESD protection circuitry, permanent damage may occur on devices subjected to high-energy electrostatic discharges. Therefore, proper ESD precautions are recommended to avoid performance degradation or loss of functionality. This includes removing static charge on external equipment, cables, or antennas before connecting to the device.

university/tools/pluto.txt · Last modified: 10 Mar 2017 23:12 by rgetz