Why the name "Maia SDR"?

Maia is a star in the Pleiades cluster. I chose the name because I like how it sounds, and because it is related to astronomy. The name vaguely hints at radio astronomy, which is a topic dear to me. Even though Maia SDR has not been developed with radio astronomy in mind as a potential use case, it could potentially be of interest to the radio astronomy FPGA community.

Isn't "FPGA-based SDR" a misnomer?

Sure. If most of the digital signal processing is done in FPGA, it is not done in software. I know and partly share comments in the SDR community about how the term "SDR" is often used inappropriately and has become somewhat of a buzzword. In this sense, calling Maia SDR an "SDR" is not very appropriate. However, I cannot think of a better term. I do not know of a word other than SDR that evokes the same ideas in terms of functionality, hardware devices, community, etc.

Also, in a certain sense I think that "SDR" is not a very bad name for Maia SDR. As a project, it strives to explore in the future concepts such as relatively fast-synthesis using open source FPGA toolchains, on demand reconfiguration, and other concepts related to flexibility in terms of functionality. In this sense, Maia SDR has more in common with a software radio application than with a silicon radio. Ultimately, the flexibility might matter more than whether the DSP computations are done in LUTs or in an ALU.

How is "Maia SDR" pronounced?

Maia is pronounced in English as /ˈmeɪə/, but I often use the Spanish pronunciation /'maja/ (English my-ah). This is closer to the original Greek and Latin pronunciations. You can use whichever you prefer.