NI provides MAC layer support for Its 802.11 Application Framework for WiFi and 5G research

December 06, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
NI has announced MAC layer support for its LabVIEW Communications 802.11 Application Framework – enabling researchers to take advantage of the new multiuser MAC layer enhancements to the 802.11 Application Framework to go beyond the PHY layer to address complex network-level problems that must be solved to make the 5G vision a reality.

While many 5G applications will be delivered over cellular links, many will also be served by private networks based on WiFi – making 5G a combination of both licensed and unlicensed wireless protocols.

There are many challenges that wireless researchers must address when working toward a more optimal delivery of joint WiFi and 5G cellular services. One is the ability of 5G network slicing to seamlessly deliver end-to-end orchestration across different radio access technologies. Wireless researchers can pair the 802.11 Application Framework with NI software defined radio hardware to rapidly conduct network-level, real-time, over-the-air prototyping experiments for a wide range of WiFi and 5G MAC/PHY research.

The 802.11 Application Framework also supports up to 80 MHz of real-time bandwidth and full bidirectional communications and includes MAC layer features including CSMA/CA, RTS, CTS, NAV and retransmission. Because the MAC layer is implemented on an FPGA, the 802.11 Application Framework meets the strict timing requirements of the 802.11 specification to form a complete real-time solution. With these new capabilities, users can take advantage of the 802.11 Application Framework out of the box to conduct a wide range of WiFi experiments and seamlessly integrate custom signal processing algorithms and MAC layer protocols in a fraction of the time compared to other approaches.

See also: Applying V2X technology to drones.

See also: Evolution of industrial wireless sensor networks.