It is remarkable to consider the long series of revolutions that wireless communications has undergone over the last quarter century. After each revolution, it is tempting to think that this astonishing sequence of advances has ended, but the end has not come yet. In fact, we are a point in time for wireless communications that is equivalent to that of the cambrian explosion for biological systems. As the “internet of things” develops, and as users increasingly desire greater access, reliability, data rates, and communications diversity, we need more of all kinds of wireless communications.
…we need access to more sophisticated, more flexible, and more efficient protocols and computational engines. With new radio architectures developed at WISCA, we can break this rigid limitation.
The Center for Wireless Information Systems and Computational Architectures (WISCA) places Arizona State University at the research and development nexus of the next wireless revolution. To address future wireless communications, we need access to more sophisticated, more flexible, and more efficient protocols and computational engines. Current communications approaches are efficient and inflexible or flexible and inefficient. By codeveloping advanced fluid protocols and mixed software define radios with hardware accelerators, we can solve both problems simultaneously. Furthermore, current protocols were developed under the assumption that communications links cannot operate in the presence of interference. This assumption introduces a significant limitation on potential performance. With our new radio architectures, we can break this rigid limitation.
To aid this development, WISCA provides researchers a wide range of tools. In particular, WISCA provides a laboratory space with a suite of software defined radios (SDRs). This radio system is designed to allow communications researchers to easily explore new physical and network layer concepts by employing a simple development interface. The interface is based on Matlab (an industry standard), so that researchers can explore their new concepts quickly. Because Matlab often cannot keep up with the computations required by sophisticated radio needs, a low duty cycle communications approach is employed to emulate real continuous-time systems. This discontinuous time operation is transparent to the radio researcher. By using this system, researchers can explore over-the-air radio operations with development times comparable to simple simulations.