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The term software radio has been introduced over ten years ago to identify the paradigm shift from static hardware based (analog and/or digital) radios to radios where waveforms are defined in software, allowing post-manufacturing reconfigurability of the radio. Emerging software defined radio (SDR) technologies usually make use of co-design approaches to provide flexible and high capacity digital platforms. This paper provides guidelines on how co-design approaches can be used in the software communications architecture (SCA). This is not meant to be a case study on co-design but rather a how-to to ensure portability, reuse and efficiency. The paper also discusses deployment issues with the SCA and how they relate to software and firmware.