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RTL-SDR Support from Communications System Toolbox

Design and prototype software-defined radio (SDR) systems using RTL-SDR with MATLAB and Simulink.

The RTL-SDR radio support package enables you to design wireless receivers using real-world signals. Using Communications System Toolbox™ in conjunction with an RTL-SDR USB radio, you can design and prototype systems that process real-time wireless signals in MATLAB® and Simulink®.

Wireless engineers, students, and hobbyists can learn to receive and decode real-world radio signals using this low cost RTL-SDR hardware connected to your computer.

Key Features:

  • RTL-SDR radio as an I/O peripheral to receive streaming RF signals
  • Configurable center frequency and sample rate
  • NooElec™ NESDR Mini USB Stick (R820T) and NooElec NESDR Nano USB Stick (R820T) SDR devices with frequency range 30MHz – 1.8GHz
  • Compatible with other RTL-SDR USB radios (e.g., Terratec T-Stick E4000)
  • Several application examples for getting started:
    • FM mono/stereo with RTL-SDR
    • FRS receiver with RTL-SDR
    • Spectral analysis with RTL-SDR radio
    • Frequency offset calibration with RTL-SDR

Get Software

This solution is available for noncommercial users. Select from the options below:

For Students

You can buy MATLAB Student, along with Communications System Toolbox (an add-on product for $29), to develop software-defined radio (SDR) applications such as broadcast radio, digital audio broadcast (DAB), digital video broadcast (DVB), and GPS receivers.

For Home Use

If you are a radio hobbyist and would like to experiment with real world RF signals, you can buy MATLAB Home to develop software radio applications.

Platform Support

Available on 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft® Windows®.




Supported in student and home software.


Support Package


Support Package Installer installs this support package and all required third-party software. To start the installer, go to the MATLAB toolstrip and click Add-Ons > Get Hardware Support Packages. For more information, read the documentation.







All required third-party software is installed by the Support Package Installer.