Airblue: A System for Cross-Layer Wireless Protocol Development

Man Cheuk (Alfred) Ng, Kermin Elliott Fleming, Mythili Vutukuru, Samuel Gross, Arvind , Hari Balakrishnan
ACM/IEEE Symposium on Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems (ANCS), La Jolla, CA, October 2010

Over the past few years, researchers have developed many cross-layer wireless protocols to improve the performance of wireless networks. Experimental evaluations of these protocols have been carried out mostly using software-defined radios, which are typically two to three orders of magnitude slower than commodity hardware. FPGA-based platforms provide much better speeds but are quite difficult to modify because of the way high-speed designs are typically implemented. Experimenting with cross-layer protocols requires a flexible way to convey information beyond the data itself from lower to higher layers, and a way for higher layers to configure lower layers dynamically and within some latency bounds. One also needs to be able to modify a layer's processing pipeline without triggering a cascade of changes. We have developed Airblue, an FPGA-based software radio platform, that has all these properties and runs at speeds comparable to commodity hardware. We discuss the design philosophy underlying Airblue that makes it relatively easy to modify it, and present early experimental results.

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Bibtex Entry:

   author =       "Man Cheuk (Alfred) Ng and Kermin Elliott Fleming and Mythili Vutukuru and Samuel Gross and Arvind  and Hari Balakrishnan",
   title =        "{Airblue: A System for Cross-Layer Wireless Protocol Development}",
   booktitle =    {ACM/IEEE Symposium on Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems (ANCS)},
   year =         {2010},
   month =        {October},
   address =      {La Jolla, CA}