Technology

RENEW Hardware

RENEW utilizes Faros as the underlying hardware for development (left figure below). Faros is designed and manufactured by Skylark Wireless, a start-up spun-off of Rice University and is an evolution of Argos massive MIMO base station developed at Rice. Serial daisy-chain of multiple software-defined radios (Iris) are integrated in a so called radio head (RH) enclosure (right figure below). Each radio daisy-chain is achieved through direct connection of the Iris boards rendering a cable-less solution. Radios in daisy-chains are automatically clock-synchronized and share data and power among each other. Multiple RHs connected to a single aggregation porint (Hub) that provides back-haul connectivtiy and cenralized clock source shared over fiber to all connected RHs. Iris modules use an interchangeable high-power front-end modules for UHF, BRS and CBRS bands with maximum output power of 28 dBm, enabling long-range at-scale communication.

              RENEW Software

              RENEW team has developed a software suite for test, experimentation and measurement with Faros Massive MIMO base station called RENEWLab. It is comprised of three design flows:

              • Matlab Design Flow: It enables communcating with Faros base station within the Matlab environment. It also provides many examples from basic over-ther-air communication all the way to more complex Multi-User MIMO examples to be used by researchers.

              • Real-time Measurement Flow: A suite for orchestration of Faros base station(s) as well as clients to send and receive multi-user uplink and downlink signals and to record the traces for offline analysis.

              • Test and Analysis Design Flow: It includes many python-based applications that interface with Faros and Iris boards to protoype simple experiments, test and over-ther-air debugging tools as well as channel trace analysis tools.

              RENEW software is continuously updated and maintained here and it is being prepared for use on the POWDER platform.

                          RENEW Development

                          RENEW team is on track to develop a full-stack massive-MIMO software/firmware to be used with Faros (See timeline below). The goal is to enable experiment with experimental stack for testing the limits of massive-MIMO. Additionally, by adding multi-user MIMO and massive-MIMO features to OpenAirInterface, LTE/5G-compatible experimentation will also be supported.

                                Timeline