Airblue: A System for Cross-Layer Wireless Protocol Development

Tuesday Sept. 28, 2010
Hamerschlag Hall 1112
12:30 pm

Kermin Elliott Fleming


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 higher 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. Layers must also be modifiable without triggering a cascade of changes. This talk will discuss Airblue, an FPGA-based software radio platform, that has all these properties and runs at speeds comparable to commodity hardware. The design philosophy underlying Airblue will be discussed, as will the architecture of the system. The talk will also discuss our analysis of a recently proposed wireless protocol.


Kermin Fleming graduated from Carnegie Mellon (BS '06, MS '06). He is currently a graduate student at MIT working in the Computer Structures Group. His research interests primarily involve wireless networks, particularly the physical and MAC layers. Currently, his group at MIT is developing an FPGA-based wireless infrastructure for the study of novel protocols. In the past, Kermin has built a number of large scale digital designs on FPGAs, including an SSD and an H.264 decoder, and remains interested in developing tools and techniques to facilitate the use of FPGAs

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