You are right, the AD9371 chip is one of the best, created in today’s time for broadband solutions.
BUT! The cost of 1 chip ad9371 is comparable to the cost of the entire Mini-Lime board.
In its essence and technical data, the whole SERIES of chips AD93xx differs little from lms7002. The identical structure of the construction of receiving paths, the same ADC 12 bits. The difference is only in the extreme frequency limits, 0.1 … 3800 MHz versus 70 … 6000MHz and a few little significant characteristics.
For you, as a radio amateur and end user, which parameter is more important, 0.1MHz at the bottom of the band or 6GHz at the top?
I believe that the lime chip is an extremely GOOD combination of parameters (very high enough) for the received frequency bands (successfully for both ham radio and DSP studies), the sampling band (30 / 60MHz) and this at an extremely low price!
In which direction can Lime be improved?
- Extension of the lime frequency to the top in frequency. This means a shift in the target audience of users to a more professional area of broadband professional communication with (attention!) A significant rise in price. There will be an analog of the USRP from NI at a price. Whom does it need?
- Revolutionary improvement of parameters by ADC parameters. But, even in AD and Ti there are no such solutions … And, again, the price …
I have, in comparison, both USRP and Adalm-Pluto. They differ little in reception from lime. But it’s extremely expensive for ordinary average radio amateurs! Adlm-Pluto has practically no support and development. Both radios do not work on the HF ham band.