The ‘one-of-a-kind’ platform can help us integrate into 6G technology

When we think about what the coming decades will bring along the path of technological advances, we often think of self-driving cars, remote or robotic operations and more in-depth virtual reality applications.

But all of these technologies are impossible without significant advances in wireless communications. This focused on further research in the Northeast Institute of Wireless Internet of Things, A team of researchers is now planning to use new funding to build a single cell base station that will support 5G and 6G network technology research.

5G, the current generation of wireless connections is predicted to be up to 20 times larger than the previous generation or 4G LTE. The next level of bandwidth is required, and with it advanced technologies and extensive connectivity.

An estimated $ 2 million in funding from the National Science Foundation for three years is under way to build a fully open, programmable platform to open high-speed internet and test high-frequency radio bands. Many Northeast experts involved in the study say they are affected by 5G.

Left-to-right – Dimitrios Ku utsonikolas, director of Tomso Melodia, WiNES Laboratory Director and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Photos by Matthew Modono / North East University

The platform will include eight different mobile nodes that will be built around the site, serving as cellular base stations or Wi-Fi access points. The forum is open to the wider research community.

And in particular, the research platform is primarily software-based to test Wi-Fi and mobile capabilities from the hardware-dependent platforms used by carriers today. Researchers say that this is the key to 6G development.

“One big move from 5G to 6G is the move from hardware to software infrastructure,” he says Dimitrius Quutonikolas, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Northeast.

Network providers, vendors, and academics have long called for companies to move from proprietary hardware model to “open software” approach, which means disconnecting network functionality from system hardware. This new approach challenges the current market style of the concept of Coutonikolas.

And it is an example that can be seen in various technology industries. Take PCs – Apple and Microsoft have their own operating systems, Macro and Windows, respectively. Not every software system is compatible with competing hardware. Although there are ways Overcoming these limitations, Are not supported by either company.

Photo by Matthew Modono / North East University

These proprietary hardware restrictions exist in the world of cell towers, says Koutsonikolas. But those in the field have been working to change the pattern, especially the O-RAN Alliance, “White box hardware and open source software components from different suppliers” is demanding a uniform level of connectivity.

The Northeast Cell Forum incorporates these ideas because researchers plan to “fully program network architecture”. Tommasso Melody, William Lincoln Smith Chairman, Northeast Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Wireless Internet Institute.

5G technology is still new – and in the process of widespread deployment – researchers are already looking at 6G, which will almost certainly be part of the foundation All industries in society, Experts say. With each new generation taking about a decade to develop, the next wireless technology is expected soon by 2030, says Melody.

“We are at a critical juncture in the future of wireless communication,” Melody said. It has an impact on much of the economy, and it has geopolitical and geographical value in terms of maintaining North American leadership here.

John Solven oversees the Colosseum of 256 programmed radio radios, where academic, government and industry researchers perform experimental and repetitive experiments in wireless systems.  Extensive simulation area at Northeast University in Burlington, Massachusetts.

He says 6G works with high frequency bands – much higher than those used in previous network generations. Experts say that these high frequencies greatly increase wireless capabilities and reduce latency, or that it takes time for a network to connect to devices and users.

5G currently operates on millimeter waves, which are short-range and easily blocked by local barriers.

Melody was the first generation 5G to use mmWaves. But 6G goes beyond that.

Melody 6G says it depends on this O-RAN or radio access network. It will also be better supported by Wi-Fi and mobile infrastructure software in the form of AI and machine learning.

Therefore, the new platform is designed to “test everything from network applications, to specific waveforms used to transmit data,” Melody said.

Funding for the project is part of the National Science Foundation’s “core research support.” A total of $ 2,967,986 will be spent on the effort, with an estimated $ 1 million coming from the Northeast as additional contributions, Melodia said.

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