This white paper is Part Two of the National Instruments MAC/PHY prototyping platform series. The next generation wireless communication networks, or 5G, will need to evolve to overcome the limits of current systems by serving a number of novel use cases with very diverse requirements. With many unknowns, researchers recognize the need to go beyond the computer-based simulation to test the system in the real-world scenario. For such experimental studies, the National Instruments (NI) LTE MAC/PHY prototyping system offers a flexible hardware and software reference architecture complete with a real-time upper layer stack and PHY layer that enables wireless researchers to rapidly prototype networks of LTE devices that communicate over real-world wireless channels. In this white paper, they explained the technical details of the platform, each layer of the communication stack and how to set it up with an open source simulation tool such as Network Simulator 3, NS-3. In the last part of the series, Part Three, they will show the system components to explain what is needed to build such flexible prototyping platform.
The paper written by Nicola Michailow, Vincent Kotzsch, and Douglas Kim gave this introduction “As the race to 5G marches on, wireless researchers are exploring new technologies that will be essential in supporting the explosion of wireless devices as predicted by the coming of the Internet of Things (IoT). Such technologies as those listed below, promise to enable new services and applications related to home and building automation, retail, healthcare, transportation, environmental monitoring, and more.
However, as promising as the technologies may be, they are still far from being commercially deployable.
- Latency reduction optimizations of the full system stack
- Interference coordination and cancellation algorithms (CoMP, eICC, etc.)
- Flexible numerologies and protocols for new waveforms
- Narrowband IoT protocols
- New SDN and network slicing
- Cloud RAN and functional splits
The promises of 5G are great and many, but in order to deliver the envisioned capabilities in real-world commercial deployments, further experimental studies must be performed to better understand the challenges and limitations associated with the development of such systems at all levels of the communication stack. With a deeper understanding of the implementation challenges and problems, researchers can then begin to create novel solutions that go beyond just computer
-based simulations to fully functional real
-time prototypes that operate under real
-world wireless channel conditions.
For such experimental studies, the National Instruments (NI) LTE MAC/PHY prototyping system offers a flexible hardware and software reference architecture complete with a real-time upper layer stack and PHY layer that enables wireless researchers to rapidly prototype networks of LTE devices that communicate over real-world wireless channels. Furthermore, because the source code for all layers of the communication stack is available for users to modify and customize, the LTE MAC/PHY prototyping system’s set of capabilities can be extended to support other novel algorithms and protocols to explore the feasibility of 5G technologies such as software defined networks.
The LTE MAC/PHY prototyping system offers a rich set of baseband hardware and RF capabilities matched with open and modifiable software IP for all layers of the communication stack. And with the ability to use Linux-based open source tools and libraries, the LTE MAC/PHY prototyping system is the world’s first wireless testbed that offers all the benefits of NS-3combined with the real-time over-the-air capabilities of the LTE Application Framework PHY layer. With such capabilities, wireless researchers can spend less time and fewer resources developing similar hardware and software of their own, thereby accelerating the prototyping process and allowing them to focus on that which is most important–results” the complete white paper is available at IEEE COMSOC WHITE PAPERS