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Wireless Networking

Full Duplex Wireless Tech Could Double Bandwidth 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-telcos-can-throttle-us-even-more dept.
CWmike writes "Rice University researchers announced on Tuesday that they have successfully demonstrated full-duplex wireless tech that would allow a doubling of network traffic without the need for more cell towers. Professor Ahutosh Sabharwal said the innovative technology requires a minimal amount of new hardware for both mobile devices and networks. However, it does require new standards, meaning it might not be available for several years as carriers move to 5G networks, he added. By allowing a cell phone or other wireless device to transmit data and receive data on the same frequency, unlike with today's tech, the new standard could double a network's capacity. Rice has created a Wireless Open-Access Research Platform (WARP) with open source software that provides a space for researches from other organizations to innovate freely and examine full-duplex innovations."
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Full Duplex Wireless Tech Could Double Bandwidth

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  • We have this already (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:29AM (#37325478)

    It's called 802.11n (which has been working for quite some time now), this is just doing it with cell phones.

    Rice's team overcame the full-duplex hurdle by employing an extra antenna and some computing tricks.

    We repurposed antenna technology called MIMO, which are common in today's devices

    Yup. [ieee.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:31AM (#37325496)
    In a world where bandwidth demands are increasing exponentially, a simple doubling of capacity ought to get us by for, oh, I don't, know, 6 months? This needs to be paired with a more fundamental upgrade that will get us by for several years to be worthy of incrementing the 'G' number to 5G, for any reasons other than marketing blather that is.
  • Small-scale DIDO? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Namarrgon (105036) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:36AM (#37325530) Homepage

    MIMO uses multiple antennas and the Rice team was able to send two signals in a way that they cancel each other out, allowing a clear signal to go through over the single frequency.

    Doesn't this sound an awful lot like the DIDO approach (pdf [rearden.com]) that Steve Perlman was talking up [wired.com] recently?

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @09:27AM (#37325900)

    Errors can come from nearly anything; slightly imperfect knowledge of the characteristics of your device

    Non-linear effect anywhere in the RX or TX chain, or intermod from surrounding objects is a big problem.

    I've done quite a bit of RF design work, microwave ham radio stuff, etc. The big problem is historically low noise stuff which makes a great receiver tends to blow up when subjected to power, and high power gear tends to have horrific weak signal noise characteristics.

    A great low noise fractional dB noise figure preamp is off the shelf and cheap, and it'll be vaporized by say 20 dBmW.
    A great 30 dBmW MMIC 1 GHz amp is off the shelf and cheap, I have used the watkins johnson devices (yes I know they have a new marketing name which I've temporarily forgotten), and its weak signal noise performance ... is not good.

    In contrast, this usage of full-duplex means that both directions are transmitting simultaneously on the same channel, without segmenting or multiplexing it.

    I don't actually know how they solved the problem, though, and the article is light on details.

    If I had to do it, I'd do traditional 70s era spread spectrum code division multiple access CDMA. Imagine a psuedorandom voltage generator feeding the RX VCO attached to the RX mixer. Then imagine a different psuedorandom voltage gen, or at least the same generating polynomial at a different offset, feeding the TX VCO attached to the TX mixer. Two completely separate RF paths, maybe up to the antenna. Synchronizing two separate psuedorandom voltage gens is merely twice as fun as just one, kinda, I guess.

    The other way was to use an old fashioned yet highly effective RF circulator. They are large, and heavy, and frankly kinda hard to make. Think like a hockey puck of ferrite with a big ole magnet. RF only flows clockwise. This is old, old stuff. Larger and heavier than a "brick" cellphone from the 90s, although they worked perfectly fine at the base station.

    There's another way to do it using PLLs and the two transmitters in quadrature, but that's getting bizarre (like, have I been drinking this morning already?) and synchronization is gonna be an absolute bear. The hard part isn't static stability, but dynamic as it switches in and out of sync, or multipath interferes with it.

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