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Intel sees multi-hop wireless nets in our future

Nov 27, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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How will we build wireless networks robust enough to support the emerging multimedia-aware digital home? That tough environment will be filled with laptops, TVs, DVD players, and camcorders.

To bridge such data and consumer electronics devices, the nets will have to support higher bandwidth, lower latency, and wider geographical coverage.

According to R&D engineers at Intel, self-organizing multi-hop wireless nets will be the way to go. A technical paper in the current edition of Intel's Technology Journal introduces the technologies and tradeoffs needed to create just such a net in the home environment.

From the abstract . . .

In the near future, homes will be equipped with wireless networks that bridge data and consumer electronics networks, interconnecting desktop PCs, mobile laptops and handhelds, High-Definition TVs (HDTVs), DVD players, camcorders, and other multimedia devices. This environment introduces new wireless network requirements, including high and dependable bandwidth, low latency, and coverage throughout the home. Multi-hop wireless technology offers unique benefits for creating a high-speed, robust home wireless network. However, to support these demanding usage models, significant wireless networking innovations are required across the physical, MAC, and routing layers, and solutions need to be found for higher level issues such as Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees, device discovery, and security. In addition, user acceptance of multi-hop wireless networks will require ease of installation. Intel R&D is currently researching self-organizing multi-hop wireless networks for home environments. This paper introduces the technologies and tradeoffs needed to create a multi-hop wireless home network, identifying benefits and limitations. In particular, we describe usage scenarios and assumptions that drive the requirements. Finally, we provide an outline of the key technology problems that must be solved and recommend the necessary next steps to make this vision a reality.

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