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LabVIEW gets MAC layer to support 5G research

NI has announced MAC layer support for its LabVIEW Communications 802.11 Application Framework.

As a result, wireless researchers will now be able to take advantage of multiuser MAC layer enhancements to the 802.11 Application Framework to go beyond the PHY layer to address some of the complex network-level problems that are expected to arise as a result of 5G development.

5G brings the promise of a broad range of use cases such as powering autonomous vehicles, smart factories and eHospitals, however, there are many challenges that need to be addressed when working towards the delivery of joint WiFi and 5G cellular services.

One is the ability of 5G network to slice seamlessly 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.

Neil Tyler

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